Category Archives: Lunch

Cinnamon Bread

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jillpickle:  I wanted to make something with cinnamon so I decided to make cinnamon bread.  I did a search and found this recipe:  Homemade Cinnamon Bread by the Pioneer Woman.  As you can see by the pictures below, it rose over the pan a bit!  Next time, I would use a larger bread pan or cut back on the rising time.  I did put it in a warm oven with a pan of warm water below to help create a warmer environment to rise.  That did the trick!  The bread dough itself was very smooth and tender and made a rich, yummy bread.  I also used fresh eggs given to me by a knitter friend!  It made excellent French toast with a pat of cinnamon and sugar butter!  Comfort food for sure!

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Roasted Red Pepper Pesto Zucchini Quesadilla

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Katie:  Although I haven’t been too ambitious with cooking lately, this was a simple creation that turned out delicious!  Using what I happened to have at home, I blended about 1 tablespoon of homemade pesto with 1 jar of roasted red peppers for a tasty sauce.  I spread it on a whole wheat tortilla, topped half with zucchini slices and shredded cheese, and cooked it.  So simple, yet so good!

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CSA Salad with Homemade Berry Dressing

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Katie:  We’ve been getting a lot of greens in the CSA this summer!  To change it up, berries were the perfect addition to this salad.  The salad included mixed greens and green onions from the CSA, sugar pea pods from the farmer’s market, blackberries, and blueberries.  Then, I made a dressing by blending together some berries, white wine vinegar, salt, and pepper.  It was a delicious salad for a hot summer day!

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Asparagus and Mushroom Tart Variation

JillPickle:  Katie found this recipe which I have made a few times.  It’s fast, elegant and tasty!  The puff pastry makes it look and taste like a gourmet dish.  For the variation, I doubled the amount of sauce since I had leftover ricotta to use up.  I topped the pastry with tiny yellow tomatoes, prosciutto, roasted garlic and kalamata olives and fresh mozzarella cheese.  It was great!

Here’s the variation.

Israeli Couscous with Olives and Roasted Tomatoes

Katie:  I like making couscous, especially since it’s pretty easy to prepare.  It’s not very flavorful by itself, but it works well as a base with other ingredients.  While I’ve often had the finer variety of couscous, I’ve recently tried Israeli (or Pearl) couscous which is bigger, chewier, and a little more flavorful.  I was excited to try this recipe for Pearl Couscous with Olives and Roasted Tomatoes from Smitten Kitchen.  It pairs Israeli couscous with roasted grape tomatoes, olives, fresh herbs, and a dressing made with roasted tomatoes and roasted garlic.  I made this recipe as written, using fresh herbs from the garden.  It went well with fish, and was a good choice for a summer dish! 

Strawberry and Balsamic Grilled Chicken Salad

Katie:  On the hottest and most humid days, the thought of standing in front of a hot stove isn’t always very appealing.  Salads are a good alternative, especially with the perfect combination of sweet and savory flavors. So when I spotted this recipe for Strawberry and Balsamic Grilled Chicken Salad on Closet Cooking, I quickly remembered the huge box of strawberries sitting in the refrigerator.  I knew it would be the perfect light meal for a sticky day.  I followed the recipe as written.  First, I mixed together the homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette and marinated the chicken for awhile, before grilling it on the Panini grill.  I also made the homemade Strawberry Vinaigrette Dressing with roasted strawberries.  The remaining ingredients included a mixture of greens, chopped pecans, bacon, (peppers), and goat cheese.  It was pretty simple to prepare, and I really enjoyed the flavors!

Red Kuri Soup

Matthew:  On a whim about a month ago, I bought an unfamiliar squash at a local farm.  After some research, I was able to identify it as a red kuri squash.  I wasn’t exactly sure what to use it for, but fortuitously I came upon a recipe for Beatrix’s Red Kuri Soup in the cookbook Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan.  The cookbook has tons of amazing French recipes, several of which I am excited to try out.  The soup recipe was amazingly easy.  You just gut the squash and chop into pieces, leaving the skin on.  Then, you throw in a couple leeks,  simmer in milk and water, and then puree the mixture.  It turns out wonderfully smooth and is delicious with the plain yogurt, granny smith apple, and toasted walnuts toppings.  I’m glad I splurged and bought really high quality whole milk because I think you can really taste the difference.  I’ll be interested in using kuri squash for other recipes.  It has a lot more flavor than your ordinary squash and I think it could go quite well in many dishes.