Browsing articles from "March, 2012"

Roast Asparagus + Egg Sandwich {and a Liebster award}

Roast Asparagus + Egg Sandwich
Asparagus is practically a requirement of my spring eating and cooking repertoire. Never mind that the only thing around here right now that says spring is the calendar. Remember last week when I bragged about the unusually warm weather and even showed off my stellar grilling skills with this sweet potato and kale grilled pizza? Well…things have changed. The temperature dropped over the weekend and on Sunday night a bit of snow came down, leaving a fine layer of cold white stuff on my freshly raked lawn and budded daffodils. So much for summer-like weather in March. I’m a practical person though so I did what any hardened northerner would do. I turned up the heat and spent the week eating the most spring-ish food I could find- strawberries and asparagus. asparagus
My strawberry recipe needs a little refining before I can share it with you (translation: I had a recipe flop), but the roasted asparagus atop scrambled eggs with chives is was just divine! Simple fresh flavors and a super easy preparation have just made this my go to spring meal. There are two components to this sandwich. First the asparagus is roasted with a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of salt and pepper and a  dusting of freshly grated parmesan.TAW78050
Next the eggs are mixed with chives and a tiny bit of milk and scrambled until fluffy. At the end a bit more parmesan is added because…well because it’s cheese and more cheese is always better.TAW78036
A scoop of egg goes on top of a whole wheat English muffin.TAW78074
Pile on the asparagus.TAW78109
There you have it. The perfect spring breakfast, lunch or dinner sandwich.TAW78098

An award and a confession:
I was given an award..twice. And I feel kind of bad about it. See the thing is you’re not supposed to get this award twice. A Liebster (it means favorite or beloved in German) Award is given to bloggers from other bloggers. I was first given the award from Gerlinde at Cooking Weekends. The idea is that you give the award to 5 bloggers and they in turn give the award to 5 more bloggers. It’s a great way to acknowledge the blogs you love and share them with others. Of course, this chain of blog love only works when everyone follows the rules. It’s been over a month since Gerlinde gave me the award and I’m just now doing my part by announcing it here and in turn giving out my five awards. I know, I know, it’s ridiculous and I have no good excuse for waiting this long. What finally spurred me into action was when last week Julie over at Tastefully Julie also awarded me the Liebster!

So here’s a big Thank You to both Gerlinde and Julie for nominating me ♥

There are a few conditions of accepting this award:
Thank the person (or persons) who gave you the award and link back to them
Copy and paste the Liebster Blog award onto your blog
Give the award to 5 blogs with 200 followers or less and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog

Here are my choices in no particular order:
Texanerin Baking
My Little Table
Seaweed & Sassafras
Sweet and Salty
Cupcake Design

Hope you all enjoy these blogs as much as I do!

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Whole Wheat Peanut Noodles

whole wheat peanut noodlesSpring Fever! The sun is shinning, the birds are singing, the grass is greening and I’m feeling the urge to get out and enjoy it. So I did. Yesterday I gleefully went outside and raked my lawn wearing shorts and a tank top! Now I have a beautiful leaf-free lawn and a blister on each hand. Oh the things we put ourselves through for a pretty patch of green in the backyard.

I also made my way down to The Farm Store and picked up a gorgeous bag of fresh organic produce. Thanks Jen for bringing this wonderful resource to our community. Can’t wait to see what goodies you have next week.
Feeling inspired by my purchases and the warm weather I decided a cold pasta salad was just what the day called for. A pasta salad that only takes 15 minutes to make and is packed with a little sweet, a little spice and a little salt. What more could you want in life. Peanut noodles can be made using practically any combo of vegetables. Because lets be honest…anything smothered in peanut butter is good…right? The only rule I follow is to use at least one crunchy vegetable to offset the chewy noodles and creamy peanut sauce. Snap peas, sweet red pepper or even broccoli will do the tick. This time I went with thinly sliced carrots and combined them with a European cucumber and some lovely scallions. Perfect.
Veggies get sliced…matchstick style for the carrots and cukes, little round slices for the scallions. Don’t worry if your matchsticks aren’t perfectly shaped. No one cares.
Peanut sauce with lots of lime and sweet chili paste!
Peanut sauce + veggies + noodles = Peanut veggie noodles! Simple, simple, simple. Now I can go back outside and give myself some more blisters. Enjoy.whole wheat peanut noodles

whole wheat peanut noodles

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Sweet Potato, Smoked Mozzarella + Kale Grilled Pizza

Things have been kind of wacky around here lately. Wacky as in it’s March 20th and the temperature is supposed to reach 80 degrees today…and tomorrow…and the next day! We’ve been experiencing out of the ordinary weather all winter, but in the last week things suddenly changed from slightly warmer and dryer than average to weather that here in Vermont doesn’t usually happen until June- if we’re lucky. This past Sunday a record was broken in Burlington for the highest temperature ever recorded- 79 degrees. The previous record was 66 degrees. That’s 13 degrees warmer! (yes, I know you can do math but I just had to point out the enormous jump in temps) Chances are that these beautiful summer days in the middle of March won’t last much longer. Next week the temperatures will probably drop back down to normal, and in all likelihood it will snow at least one more time before winter is truly over. For now though, there’s nothing to do but enjoy the gift that we’ve been given. Spending time sitting on the porch, raking the yard, walking the dog in a t-shirt, sleeping with the window open, breaking out my flip flops and of course, one of my favorite summer activities…grilling!TAW97608
I like to grill everything, and I do. Meats, vegetables, shish kabobs, sandwiches, pizzas…you name it and I will grill it. I know, I know, a women (gasp) who like to grill. For some strange reason grilling is often considered a man’s job. Does anyone else think this is weird, and kind of wrong? There are men who couldn’t make a pot of pasta to save their lives yet give them a slab of meat and a hot grill and they will  cook it up like they’re the head chef at a 5 star restaurant. And there are women who can whip up anything in the kitchen but wouldn’t dream of firing up the grill. What’s up with that? If I’m being honest it’s the latter that annoys me the most. What are you too lady-like for the grill? Is it too dirty for you? Are you scared of the fire? I just don’t get it. I’m proud to admit that in this household my husband it secure enough in his manliness to leave the grilling to me. And I in turn am confident enough in my feminine side to know I can use the grill, and use it well. So come on ladies, it’s time to get grilling!

On to the recipe. The key to a successful grilled pizza is having all the ingredients ready to go before you even turn the grill on. This of course includes the dough if you are making it yourself, but also any toppings that may need to be cooked.
Grilled pizza happens very fast and the topping are really only on the grill long enough to melt the cheese so anything you don’t want to eat raw needs a quick cook before hand. For this pizza I went with a kind of wintery mix of sweet potatoes, onions, kale and a smoky fresh mozzarella. This is my nod to the fact that it still is only March and things like fresh tomatoes and basil are still very far away from being in season. The sweet potatoes and onions are tossed with a little olive oil, salt and fresh pepper before they are briefly roasted in the oven. If you have a good grill basket you can do this step on the grill. I chose not to because I wanted the potatoes sliced thin and I have a bad habit of burning them on the grill when they are cut this thin. TAW97565
Another tip for grilled pizza is to keep it small. Don’t try to make a huge pizza that takes up the entire grill because when it comes time to flip it things will get tricky real fast. Also, you want one side of the grill searing hot so you can achieve a crispy grilled crust and the other side low heat for melting the cheese. If your pizza is too big you won’t be able to slide the cooked crust over to the cool side for cheese melting. The result will be a burnt crust and cold cheese. If you can’t tell, this has happened to me more than once. Now I always make two small pizzas and cook the second crust while the first one is on the cheese melting side. Oh, one last tip- grilled pizza doesn’t have to be round. The best shape is the one that fits your grill best. For me that is a kind of rectangular oval with wavy edges. Here is small pizza number one. Se how the crust is starting to bubble in the middle- yummm!TAW97605
And here it is flipped over and cooking on the second side. Look at those beautiful grill marks.TAW97607
Now I slide it over to the cool side and load up the toppings, close the lid to let the cheese melt.TAW97609
The finished product. Crisp crust, melted smoky cheese, roasted sweets and onions, and crunchy kale with just a sprinkle of fresh rosemary. Now this is how a real woman uses a grill.TAW97631

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