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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Grilled Sausage and Summer Squash

Looking for a quick and easy weeknight dinner? Look no further. This is a delicious way to use up summer squash and have a flavorful one-dish meal that is easy to whip up. You can use any combination of fresh herbs that you have on hand.

1 1/2 lbs. zucchini and/or yellow summer squash, cut into equally sized pieces
2 tbsp plus 2 tsp olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 lb (4 links) Italian chicken sausage (I used a mixture of sweet and hot)
2-3 tbsp chopped mint
3-4 tbsp chopped parsley (or try other combinations of herbs like cilantro or basil)
1/3 cup pitted Kalamata olives, cut in half
2 tbsp capers
Juice of 1 lemon

Prepare grill.

Toss squash with 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper, to taste. Place in a grill pan or basket on grill. Brush sausages with 2 teaspoons olive oil and place on grill. Cook for 15-20 minutes, until squash is slightly tender and sausage is lightly browned and cooked through.

While sausages and squash are cooking, chop your herbs and olives. Place herbs, olives, and capers in a large bowl and set aside.

When sausages and squash are done cooking, remove from grill. Add the cooked squash to the bowl with the chopped herbs. Slice the sausage into 1 inch slices and add to the bowl with the squash. Toss gently to combine. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add lemon juice, to taste, tossing to evenly coat. Serve.
Adapted from Kalyn's Kitchen.


Linked to Real Sustenance Seasonal Sunday and Delightfully Dowling Mangia Monday.

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Quinoa Black Bean Salad

I love quinoa! If you haven't tried it before, you really should. It is similar to a grain but is actually an edible seed with a mild flavor. It is high in protein and gluten free. It makes an excellent side dish or substitute for rice and is easy to prepare. This salad was delicious and tasted great the next day for lunch. I love eating stuff like this for lunch, the beans and quinoa really help keep me full and satisfied throughout the day.

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1 Serrano pepper, minced
1 cup corn (I used leftover grilled corn on the cob)
1 cup diced tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes, halved)
1/4 cup diced red onion (or green onion for milder flavor)
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
5 tbsp lime juice
1/4 cup olive oil
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
Salt & pepper, to taste

Cook quinoa according to package directions. Place in a medium bowl. Add beans, peppers, corn, tomatoes, onion, and cilantro. Add red wine vinegar, and gently toss ingredients together.

In a small bowl, combine lime juice, olive oil, cayenne, and cumin. Drizzle over quinoa mixture, tossing as you go until evenly coated. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve. Refrigerate leftovers.

Adapted from Cooking with Karyn.

Linked to Good Cheap Eats What's on Your Plate? and Little Brick Ranch Foodie Friday.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Asian Chicken Burgers

Can you guys tell that I am on a chicken/turkey burger kick? I have done them just about everywhichway. And, there's more to come. Oh yes, lots more. I mean, what's not to love? You can fill them up with all sorts of spices and veggies and have a deliciously flavorful burger that is a guilt-free twist on your standard burger.

This burger was definitely a completely different flavor profile with a classic Asian taste to it. It was very moist, slightly sweet, with a tangy bite from the onions and cilantro. In a word: yummy!


1 small carrot
1 small red onion, divided
1 lb ground chicken
1/4 panko Japanese breadcrumbs
1/4 cup hoisin sauce, divided
1 tbsp peeled ginger, grated
4 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce, divided
3 tbsp hot Asian chili sauce (I used Sriracha), divided
8 ounces white mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tsp sesame oil
Juice of 1 lime
4 whole wheat sesame hamburger buns

Finely chop the carrot and 1/2 of the red onion and place in a large bowl. Add chicken, panko, 2 tbsp hoison sauce, ginger, 3 tsp soy sauce, and 1 tsp chili sauce. Using clean, wet hands, mix until the ingredients are evenly combined.

Shape the chicken mixture into 4 patties. If chicken mixture is too sticky, wet your hands with water before forming the patties.

At this point, you can either bake the burgers on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray in a 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes, or you can grill the burgers. If you plan to grill them, place the patties on a plate and stick them in the freezer while you prepare your grill. Freezing the burgers during this time helps them to not fall apart when you place them on the grill. Once the grill is prepared, cook the burgers evenly on both sides until cooked through.

While you are preparing the grill/cooking the burgers, thinly slice the remaining 1/2 onion. Place the onion, sliced mushrooms, and chopped cilantro in a medium bowl. Add the sesame oil, lime juice and remaining 1 tsp soy sauce and toss to coat. Set aside.

In a small bowl mix the remaining 2 tbsp hoisin sauce, 2 tsp chili sauce and 1 tbsp water. Set aside.

Warm the hamburger buns on the grill or in the oven. Serve the burgers on the buns topped with a drizzle of the hoisin-chili sauce mixture and some of the mushroom-onion mixture.
Adapted from Pass the Sushi


Linked to Prairie Story Recipe Swap Thursday and Little Brick Ranch Foodie Friday.

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Monday, July 18, 2011

Baby Guinevere

Back in May I had the pleasure of taking maternity photos for my friend, Mrs. In Training. Baby Guinevere came on June 14th and I took these photos when she was about a week and a half old. Such a tiny baby and she didn't fuss too much during the costume changes and posing. Here are a few favorites from the shoot!



Thursday, July 14, 2011

Bloody Mary Salad

I am not a big fan of bloody marys. I like the idea of them. Olives? check, tomatoes? yes, please, horseradish? done, hot sauce? love, but all together with tomato juice and vodka? mmm just doesn't do it for me. I'll take a mimosa for my breakfast drink of choice. Still, this salad intrigued me because it has all the elements I do love from bloody marys. The original recipe serves this along side a skirt steak. I'm not posting the steak recipe because, for me, it wasn't my favorite. However, I liked this salad. It was truly flavorful and definitely interesting! Adapted from Smitten Kitchen.

1 cup finely chopped red onion
3 tablespoons Sherry vinegar, divided
2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes, halved.
1 cup chopped celery hearts (inner stalks and leaves; from 1 bunch)
1/2 cup chopped brined green olives plus 2 tablespoons olive brine
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place the chopped onions in a large bowl and pour 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar over them, to temper their flavor. Allow them to sit for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the tomatoes, celery, and olives to the bowl, tossing to mix.

In a small bowl, whisk together remaining 2 tablespoons of sherry vinegar, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, celery seeds and olive oil. Slowly drizzle dressing over tomato salad, tossing gently to combine until evenly coated. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve, up to 4 hours.


Linked to Home Sweet Farm Delectable Tuesday and FTLOB Tasty Tuesday.


Monday, July 11, 2011

Honey-Chipotle Glazed Chicken

It is well known that Casey and I love our spicy foods and lately I have been using a lot of chipotle spice. At first I didn't love the flavor of chipotle but now I loving it more and more each time I have it. This chicken with its sweetness from the honey and spice from the chipotles is spot on. This is the perfect summer weeknight dish, quick, easy, and super flavorful. Grill up some mixed veggies for a simple and healthy meal.

¼ cup honey
1 tbsp. pureed canned chipotles in adobo sauce (I used 2 chipotle peppers plus about 1/2 tbsp of adobo sauce, pureed, to get plenty of the spiciness we love)
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tbsp. chili powder, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp. canola oil, divided
½ tsp. ground coriander
½ tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. smoked paprika
2-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, butterflied into halves
Sesame seeds, and chopped fresh cilantro for garnish (optional)

Prepare grill. While grill is heating, whisk together honey, chipotle puree, mustard, 1½ teaspoons chile powder, ½ teaspoon salt, and 1½ teaspoons oil in a small bowl. Set aside.
Stir together the remaining 1½ teaspoons chile powder with the coriander, cumin paprika, and remaining 1½ teaspoons oil in a medium bowl. Add the chicken breasts and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper.

Place the chicken on the prepared grill and cook for 3-4 minutes. Flip and brush the cooked side of the chicken with the honey-chipotle glaze. Cook for 3-4 minutes, flip again and brush the second side with the glaze. Cook for an additional minute on each side, adding any remaining glaze. Remove from grill and allow to rest for 5 minutes.

Garnish with sesame seeds and cilantro, if desired, and serve.

Adapted from Annie's Eats.

Linked to Shine Your Light Mangia Mondays and Blessed with Grace Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays.

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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Traditional Hummus

This has been my go-to hummus recipe for awhile now and I make it often. There is nothing better than creamy delicious hummus and this recipe yields just that. Serve it with pita or vegetables for the perfect afternoon snack. I usually double the recipe for company or just to have lots of extra throughout the week. I usually find tahini in either the ethnic section of the grocery store or near the peanut butter.

3 tbsp. juice from 1-2 lemons
¼ cup water
6 tbsp. tahini, stirred well
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 (14 oz.) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 small garlic clove
¼ tsp. table salt, plus more to taste
¼ tsp. ground cumin
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tbsp. minced fresh parsley (optional, for garnish)
Paprika, for garnish

Process chickpeas, garlic, salt, cumin, and cayenne in a food processor until almost fully ground. Scrape down sides of bowl. With the machine running, add lemon juice and water through the feeding tube. Process for about 1 minute, then scrape down bowl.

Whisk together olive oil and tahini in a small bowl. Add oil-tahini mixture to the food processor while it is running in a steady stream. Continue processing until smooth and creamy, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. Taste and adjust salt and lemon juice as needed. I often add a little extra of either or both.

Transfer hummus to a bowl and let stand for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld or transfer to the refrigerator to keep for longer. When ready to serve, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with parsley and paprika, if desired.

Adpated from Annie's Eats.

Linked to Fudge Rippple Tuesday Night Supper Club and FTLOB Tasty Tuesday.

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C + C Marriage Factory: July 2011

C + C Marriage Factory