Monday, September 21, 2009

eat your veggies

zesty zucchini quesadilla

The zucchini shreds and peppers in these quesadillas become soft and then blend right into the gooey cheese. Whether you enjoy vegetables or try to avoid them, this dish wraps the greens in a very appealing (and tasty!) package.

2 tbsp toasted pine nuts
2 tbsp olive oil
1 zucchini, shredded
1/2 red or yellow bell pepper, finely chopped (I used green pepper and it worked fine.)
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 c fresh cilantro
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 large tomato, seeded and chopped
juice of one lime (2-4 tbsp)
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp hot-pepper sauce (optional)
4 8-inch tortillas
2 c shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add zucchini, bell pepper, onion, garlic, and cumin. Cook for 5 minutes, or until all the vegetables are soft. Stir in the cilantro, salt, and black pepper. Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the tomato, lime juice, chili powder, and hot-pepper sauce, if using.

Spread one-fourth of the zucchini mixture evenly over half of each tortilla. Sprinkle each with 1 1/2 tsp pine nuts and one-fourth of the cheese. Fold the tortillas in half.

Wipe out the skillet and cook the quesadillas over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes, turning once, until the cheese is melted. Cut the quesadillas into wedges and top with a generous amount of the tomato mixture and some plain yogurt/sour cream.
recipe from Simply Organic by Jesse Ziff Cool

Sunday, September 20, 2009


This weekend I found time to knock out two things I'd been meaning to do for awhile.

1. Attempt a pin curl in my bangs a la Piksi.
2. Take pictures in front of an old hotel in our town.

The hair still needs a lot more practice.

The picture-taking resulted in being shouted/heckled at from a car--Looooook-ing good!

cardigan, H&M
jeans & sunglasses, Urban Outfitters
shoes, Good Style Shop

Saturday, September 19, 2009

what $40 at the farmer's market will get you

watermelon, apples, mixed baby lettuce, leeks, snap peas, red peppers, whole chicken, eggs, parmesan, sharp cheddar, poblanos, goat cheese

I think this will be a tasty week.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

corn chowder

smoky chipotle-chicken corn chowder

In the search for recipes that will use up the piles of corn that we get every week (not that I'm complaining!), I rediscovered this easy recipe for a really tasty, thick corn chowder. I like to use fresh corn in this while it's so tender, but the frozen kernels work fine too. This would also be a hearty vegetarian option if you used vegetable broth and omitted the chicken. It's a great soup for these days when fall is not quite here, but I am wanting something warm and hearty.

5 tbsp olive oil
1 lg onion, chopped
3 large garlic cloves
1 chipotle chili in adobo, chopped
2 celery ribs, finely chopped (I always leave this out!)
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
salt and black pepper
20 white or yellow tortilla chips
1 quart chicken stock
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 10-oz boxes frozen corn kernels (or kernels cut from 3-4 ears)
limes, sour cream (we use plain yogurt), and cilantro for serving

Preheat a soup pot over medium-high heat with 2 tbsp of the oil. Add the onions, garlic, chipotle, celery (if using), coriander, cumin, and a little salt and pepper. Cook for about 3 minutes or until onions are slightly tender, stirring frequently.

While the onions are cooking, put the chips in a resealable plastic bag and smash them up using a rolling pin. You can use a food processor too, but I rarely want to go to the work of getting that out and cleaning it up. In the end, you need about 1 cup of ground chips, so vary the amount of chips you grind accordingly.

Add the ground chips to the onions, stir to combine, then add chicken stock, bring it up to a bubble, and simmer for 8-10 minutes. Add the chicken and corn and continue to cook it for 5 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through (it seems weird, but the chicken will actually cook this way).

If the soup becomes too thick, adjust it by adding a little more stock, and if it is too thin, let it continue to cook and reduce it until it is to your liking. Taste and check for seasing, adjust with a little salt and pepper. Garnish with cilantro, and serve with plain yogurt (sour cream) to cut the heat and lime wedges to squeeze in.

adapted from Rachel Ray's Express Lane Meals

Friday, September 4, 2009

more sweets

It's been a long time since I've posted, but I have been very busy preparing for and getting through my first week of teaching first grade. I thought I'd take a breather and make a post.

I've recently discovered that I can actually handle some amount of baking without inviting catastrophe. Anxious to try out my try out my newly realized skills, last weekend before school started I tried out another recipe for baked goods from Silver Screen Suppers. I made Norwegian ice skater-turned-actress Sonja Henie's Scandinavian cookies. They were so good, they just made me want to visit Scandinavia even more.

Sonja Henie's Scandinavian cookies

Much like the banana shortbread cookies I made earlier this summer, these cookies were buttery, crumbly, and subtly sweet. They will definitely be a repeat recipe. The instructions only specified that I use chopped nuts and jelly, so I chose pecans and homemade raspberry jam, which both turned out to be great choices.

Check out the excellent sugar-free raspberry jam and strawberry preserve recipes that I used this summer.