Wednesday, June 29, 2016

SEASONAL LIVING SUPPERS JUNE 2016

June is hot here in Texas...and easy peesy dinners are a must! And who says it always has to be meat... for dinner?

Below is a very tasty egg dish for supper...or a lunch for a lazy and  relaxed Sunday.

Because nothing says love...like something homemade!



ROASTED ASPARAGUS WITH PROSCIUTTO AND EGGS
Serves 4

1 pound asparagus...tough ends cut off
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
butter for cooking eggs
salt and freshly ground pepper
4 large eggs
4 thin slices prosciutto
shaved Parmesan cheese for serving

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil.

Arrange the asparagus in a single layer on the baking sheet...and then drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil...and then season with the salt and pepper.Using clean hands toss the asparagus...making sure each one is coated with the olive oil and seasoned with the salt and pepper. Place in the oven and roast until lightly browned...and slightly crisp...about 18-20 minutes.

About 10 minutes...before the asparagus is done...cook the eggs...in butter...over easy style...or if you prefer scramble them. Season the eggs with salt and pepper.

Take the asparagus out of the oven...and divide on 4 plates. Put a slice of the prosciutto on top...then top with the egg...garnish with the shaved Parmesan cheese and serve. Be sure to serve with a piece of grilled bread...to dip in the eggs! Yum!


GREEN BEANS WITH DIJON VINAIGRETTE
Serves 4

I love these green beans...a really nice way to make these with lots of extra flavor and wow factor. These green beans also taste great cold.

1 pound green beans...ends trimmed
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons whole grain Dijon mustard
1 shallot...minced
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil...and extra for cooking the green beans
salt and freshly ground pepper

Saute the green beans...until fork tender. While the green beans are cooking...whisk together the vinegar...mustard...and shallot. Add the olive oil in slowly...and whisk together well. Season with salt and pepper,

Place the green beans in a serving bowl...and drizzle the vinaigrette over the green beans...and mix evenly. Serve.

Happy June to you and yours,
Victoria

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

SEASONAL LIVING SUPPERS JUNE 2016

June suppers...call for relaxed cooking...and dining... but that doesn't mean you have to skip dessert. To me...dessert is a must...and actually my favorite part of any meal...truth be told.

Below are a few of my quick and easy desserts...they are very good...very simple...and will satisfy your sweet tooth craving.


GREEK YOGURT WITH LEMON CURD

Greek yogurt and lemon curd work very well together...sweet...creamy...tart...refreshing... this simple dessert really will hit the spot for a sweet treat! Just be sure you buy genuine Greek yogurt...or the taste will not give this dessert justice.

4 servings

1 medium container plain Greek yogurt
jar of lemon curd
mint leaves for garnish (optional)

Place dessert bowls in the freezer for at least 30 minutes before serving this dessert...as this dessert tastes so good very cold.

When dessert rolls around... ( not soon enough for me)...take the cold bowls out of the freezer...place at least 1 cup Greek yogurt in each bowl...then top with  1 to 2 teaspoons of lemon curd...garnish with fresh mint...and serve!


VANILLA ICE CREAM WITH ROASTED BLACKBERRIES

Roasting fresh fruit tastes so good...it really brings out the flavor of any fruit...but is exceptional for bringing out the  sweetness of berries. A little roasted fruit goes a long way... and you can use it in many ways... try spooning it over pound or angel food cake...pudding... eat it as is..or enjoy it...in my favorite way... spooned over vanilla ice cream.

4 servings

2  small boxes fresh blackberries
2 to 3 tablespoons sugar
vanilla ice cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place clean and dry...blackberries on a baking sheet...in a single layer. Sprinkle sugar on blackberries...and then using your hands...mix gently so all berries have a bit of sugar on them...and then spread out in a single layer again. Place in preheated oven. Cook for about 20-25 minutes. Take out of oven...place in a bowl... and let cool down for a few minutes. In the mean time...dish out the ice cream into serving bowls...and then spoon roasted blackberries on top. Serve  right away... and be sure to lick your spoon!

LIME PIE WITH BLUEBERRY COMPOTE

makes 1 9-inch pie

Who doesn't love a really good piece of cold pie? This one is wonderful...and you will want seconds.It takes a little more time to make than my other recipes above...but it is so worth it!

CRUST
1/1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter... melted

FILLING
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest
2 eggs

COMPOTE
16 ounces fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
whipped cream for serving

TO MAKE THE PIE
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch glass pie dish. Mix the graham cracker crumbs...sugar...and salt in a medium bowl. Add the melted butter and stir to combine. Press the mixed mixture evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the buttered pie dish. Bake the crust until it just begins to brown...about 10 minutes. Take out of the oven...and set aside to cool.

TO MAKE THE FILLING
In a large bowl...gently stir the condensed milk...lime juice...and lime zest together until well blended. Whisk in the eggs. Pour the filling into the crust. Bake until the filling sets...about 20 minutes.

Let the pie cool completely...then refrigerate it until it is chilled.

TO MAKE THE COMPOTE
Simmer the clean blueberries and sugar in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat until the mixture reduces to about 1 1/4 cups...which will take about 15 minutes.Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

To serve...cut the pie into wedges and spoon the blueberries on top...and  top with whipped cream. Garnish with fresh mint.


Happy June days and evenings to you,
Victoria







Friday, June 10, 2016

SEASONAL LIVING SUPPERS JUNE 2016

With the weather warming up...you want lighter fare at the dinner table...but this doesn't mean you have to ear bland...unfulfilling food. Below are a few of my favorite go to meals for you...very good...easy to prepare...and surely to impress everyone who eats them...including you!

The key to good cooking is to use only the very best and freshest ingredients you can find...and of course afford. A great dish does not have to have lots of ingredients...only good ones...and these recipes fit that guide line.

I hope you enjoy my Seasonal Living Suppers...until then... remember...nothing says love...like something homemade.

Victoria


SPINACH-PEAR SALAD WITH MUSTARD VINAIGRETTE
Serves 6

2 Bosc or Bartlett pears...that are not too ripe
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons stone-ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (6 ounce) package fresh baby spinach
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup shaved parmigiano-reggiano cheese

Slice your pears and place in a large salad bowl...along with the spinach. Cover and put into the fridge to chill. Combine the water...sugar...the mustard...pepper...balsamic vinegar...the olive oil and salt together...and whisk until well blended. Put in a glass jar or bottle with a lid...and chill until cold.

When you are ready to serve the salad...toss gently...with the vinaigrette...plate...and sprinkle with the cheese.

***You can put your salad bowls or plates in the freezer until really cold...to make any salad you serve on them more refreshing and crispy cold.


CHICKEN PICCATA

This is such  a good dish...so good you will make it countless times...and is elegant enough for dinner guests.
serves 4

4 split (2 whole breasts cut in half down the middle lengthwise)
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour ( or 1 cup gluten free rice flour)
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups seasoned dried bread crumbs ( or panko bread crumbs for gluten sensitive)
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup white wine
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
1 sliced lemon for sauce
chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley for serving

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and have a cookie sheet handy to place the chicken breasts on.

Place each chicken between 2 sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap and pound it out to about 1/4 inch thick. Dry the chicken breasts with a paper towel on both sides. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper.

Mix the flour... 1 teaspoon salt...and 1/2 teaspoon pepper on a plate. In a large bowl beat the eggs...and 1 tablespoon of water together.Place the breadcrumbs on another plate. Dip each chicken breast first in the flour...shake off the excess flour...then dip into the egg mixture...and then the bread crumbs.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large frying pan...over medium-low heat. Add chicken breasts and cook until brown on both sides. Place on cookie sheet...and allow them to finish cooking in the oven while you make the sauce for about 5-10 minutes.

For the sauce...keep the pan drippings from cooking the chicken in and turn to medium heat...add 1 tablespoon of the butter and then add the lemon juice...white wine...and the sliced lemon...you sliced earlier...1/2 teaspoon salt...and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Boil over high heat...until somewhat reduced...about 2 minutes...being sure to scrape the bottom of the frying pan...to get all those tasty bits of the cooked chicken mixed together with the sauce. Turn heat to low...add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter...blend well into sauce. Return chicken breasts to pan...coat with the sauce.
Serve...immediately...spooning sauce over each serving...garnishing with the fresh parsley.    

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

SEASONAL LIVING AND TIMELESS TRADITIONS JUNE 2016

June musings...This month I wanted to try something different...because the Summer season is all about growth and change...and the Summer cycle begins this month.

So to honor change...I am going to post my favorite recipes...all month...long...once or twice a week...instead of my usual format. I hope you get in your kitchen this lovely June...and create some of these dishes for yourself and your family. And remember fresh...local...seasonal and organic food...makes common sense...is more affordable...and so good for your health.

So follow me this month as we explore and cook food traditions together...using the best ingredients...including the timeless tradition and joys of cooking with herbs.

By all means add to my recipes...adjust the seasonings to your liking...and experiment with the ingredients...cooking is creative and there are no rules...just simple guidelines for you to make and creative in your kitchen this month.

So put your apron on...and get into your hearth...and start cooking.Be sure to add lots of love...and a dash of care into everything you make...because nothing says love...like something homemade.

VICTORIA'S GREEK SALAD
This is such a refreshing and healthy salad on a warm Summer evening...this salad takes just a few minutes to make...but be sure it is well chilled...the colder the better for this Greek classic...so make it about 1 hour before serving and put in the fridge.
serves 3-4

3 medium fresh tomatoes...sliced in half...quarted...then quarted again
2 small seedless cucumbers (or Persian cucumbers)...skin left on...sliced thinly
1 medium green pepper...seeded...sliced in thin strips
1 1/2 cup pitted Greek Kalamata olives
half of small red onion...sliced very thin in strips
sea salt
freshly ground pepper
about 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
7 ounces...or one small block feta cheese...preferably Greek
1 1/2 teaspoons dried Oregano

To make your salad get out a glass bowl...and then cut the tomatoes...and place in bowl. Slice the cucumbers...put on top of tomatoes. Slice the green pepper...place on top of cucumbers.Add the pitted Kalamata olives. Slice the onion...place on olives. Take the cheese...break the cheese in half...and place the halves on top of the salad. Drizzle the olive oil over the whole salad.Lightly salt and pepper. Sprinkle the dried Oregano over the entire salad. Place the finished salad in the fridge for at least 1 hour to get really chilled. To serve ...do not mix salad...just spoon it out on a dish...making sure each serving has a bit of everything in the salad...including pieces of the Feta Cheese.