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Grilled Corn + Poblano Pepper Skillet Quesadillas

Grilled Corn + Poblano Pepper Skillet Quesadillas

Last weekend we drove across nearly the entire state of Montana. If you’ve never been to Montana then I am here to tell you it’s big. I mean really big. So big that you could fit all of the New England states inside Montana and still have room left over for New York and at least part of Pennsylvania. That’s big. The ginormous size of Montana meant that we had a lot of distance to cover. Seven hundred miles to be exact. Seven hundred miles of seemingly endless grasslands, low rolling hills and wide open sky.


In an effort to break up the long drive we made a couple of stops on the way. The first was in Billings where we spent a few glorious hours at the farmers market. One of my favorite aspects to our nomadic lifestyle is the ability to visit farmers markets in so many different towns. I’ve never been to Billings before, and I really couldn’t tell you anything about the city, but I do know that the Saturday morning downtown farmers market rocks. We arrived about an hour before before closing to find the quadrant of roped off streets packed with people shopping, eating and just milling around. With no time to waste we jumped right in and quickly had arms and bags full of juicy berries, fat ripe zucchinis, glossy red onions, a bag of freshly shelled peas, bright orange carrots, and a jar of raspberry-rhubarb jam that I can’t wait to crack open. Finally, with closing time looming I took my place in line at the corn truck and for a measly $3 got a half dozen of the most gorgeous bi-color early season corn on the cob.

Corn truck

After many more hours of driving we arrived at our final destination in Missoula on the far west side of the state. There’s nothing better than pulling in after a long journey and unpacking bags of fresh produce. Looking over my final haul I realized that I had the complete makings of a meal. Fresh corn on the cob, a shiny poblano pepper, a bunch of pungent red onions, a head of garlic, and a bag of homemade tortillas. Combine this with some pepper jack cheese I already had in the fridge and we were in the quesadilla making business. My absolute favorite way to cook corn on the cob is on the grill. I love how the kernels caramelize over the high heat and give the already sweet vegetable an almost candy-like flavor. Usually I roast my peppers over the flame on my stove, but since I already had the grill hot and ready, I threw the pepper on as well. Of course, if you don’t have a grill you can just as easily char both your corn and pepper over the stove, but since it is summer, for me the grill is the way to go. I just love how in mere minutes the corn and pepper go from this…

Corn + Poblano Pepper

To this…

Grilled Corn + Poblano Pepper

I briefly considered cooking the quesadillas on the grill, but then decided the mess-factor of melty cheese dripping all over the grill grates was too high. Instead I used my trusty cast iron skillet which produced the most perfect crispy crust.

Grilled Corn & Poblano Pepper Skillet Quesadillas

In most parts of the country corn season is upon us, so stop by your local farmers market, buy some corn, and get grilling!

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Zucchini Quinoa Cakes with Tzatziki Sauce

Zucchini Quinoa Cakes with Tzatziki Sauce

If I was being honest I would tell you that it’s been 1 year and 28 days since I last posted here.

Then I would confess how during that time I’ve made countless amazing meals and selfishly not shared them with you.

At some point I would admit that despite all the excuses floating around in my head, my absence boils down to pure laziness.

But we’re not going to do that. We’re not going to talk about what I’ve been doing for the last year, or how I let my own insecurities get in the way of a good thing, or how I am often my own worst enemy, or how I constantly compare myself to others and in my own mind always fall short. Let’s just not go there, okay?

Instead lets talk about these patties. Let’s talk about zucchini, chick peas, scallions and Tzatziki. Oh my god Tzatziki! Do you know about this tangy yogurt based sauce? I love this stuff so much that I want to slather it on everything. Seriously, what’s not to love about a creamy sauce filled with crunchy bits of cuke, tangy dill and a hint of garlic? In the traditional sense Tzatziki is a Greek sauce used on Gyros and falafels, but in my world it’s become my go to sauce for everything from chicken to lentils. It’s also super easy to make and tastes best the next day when all the flavors have melded into an explosion of tastiness.

My first time making homemade Tzatziki was as an accompaniment for some chicken gyros, and I instantly fell in love. After that I became obsessed and devised as many ways as possible to consume this awesome sauce. This week in my quest to use up last week’s farmers market purchases I decided to make some zucchini quinoa patties. Of course, my mind immediately thought of Tzatziki as a topping. These little cakes of deliciousness would be great tucked inside a pita pocket and drizzled with sauce, but due to a grocery store fail we were out of pitas, and instead ate them on a bed of lettuce. The verdict? Tzatziki + zucchini + quinoa = yum.

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Grilled Cheese with Arugula + Roasted Red Pepper Spread

Today I’m celebrating National Grilled Cheese month. Actually, as it turns out I’ve already celebrated it several times this month and I didn’t even know it. That’s because I just found out about this month-long celebration of melted cheese a few days ago. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not one of those food bloggers who’s organized enough to post recipes for each (okay any) of the food holidays, but this was one I couldn’t let pass by. Already this year I’ve missed National Popcorn Day, National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day, National Chocolate-Covered Nut Day, and just yesterday National Garlic Day. No, I’m not making these days up. In fact, there is a National Some-Sort-Of-Food Day for every day of the year. Seriously. You would think since every day is a food holiday I could get it together just once to post something relevant. Nope, not happening. Fortunately for me, some food holidays last the entire month. April is also National Florida Tomato month and Soy Foods month…hmmm, think I’ll stick with grilled cheese. It’s unclear who decides these holidays. I wonder who declared February National Fiber Focus month, or June 5th Jelly-Filled Donut Day…and why? I guess it doesn’t matter because celebrating food is always a good thing. Even if it is something boring like fiber, or kind of gross like Weinerschnitzel day (September 9). TAW98666-001
I happen to love any dish that features melted cheese as a main ingredient, so an entire month of grilled cheese sounds good to me. Too bad I only have ten more days to celebrate. Speaking of celebrating, I think spring is finally here to stay so I thought it would be a good time to share some of the other things I love about April besides bread and cheese…

Tulips & Daffodilsgrilled cheese

Early purple flowers called Pulmonaria (ugly name, pretty flower) and wild Yellow Toad Liliesgrilled cheese1

Phineas playing in the riverTAW98766
And Arugula…grown right here in Vermont. In fact, grown right down the road at Three Crows Farm. Gotta love spring! It was this fresh Arugula that provided the inspiration for my grilled cheese. The slightly spicy flavor of this crisp spring green pairs perfectly with creamy, nutty fontina cheese. TAW98598
I also added a roasted red pepper spread to the mix. If you’ve never made your own red pepper spread, or even roasted red peppers, you’re in for a treat. Not only does this spread taste amazing, but it is sooo easy to make. The peppers are broiled for about ten minutes until blistered and black then steamed under plastic wrap. Slide the skins off and puree with garlic and olive oil. That’s it. Couldn’t be simpler.TAW98613
Hearty whole wheat bread, thick slices of cheese, a slathering of red pepper spread, and a generous handful of arugula- now that’s what I call a grilled cheese!TAW98657
A stack of cheeses…all grilled up.TAW98669-001

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