Saturday, July 30, 2011

Something different....

I am forever trying to find ways to get Mr. Lucky to eat vegetables.  He will eat: onions, peppers, winter squashes, zucchini, summer squash and green beans. He will eat carrots but only if they are  drenched with butter and maple syrup or brown sugar.  He will not, however, eat any of these without an argument.  It is absolute torture!

When I went to the berry farm last week I visited their farm stand and found these amazing golden zucchinis.


Let me go off topic for a second here. My kitchen has the worst lighting in the history of the world.  It could be the brightest part of the sunniest day of the year and my kitchen still looks like it is the middle of the night.  I have started placing things on my windowsill to photograph them and *gasp* using the flash on my camera. I have read many places that you should never use a flash to take food pictures, I HAVE to or else you would not get any pictures from me.  Someday I'll be able to take gorgeous food photos. I hope you'll stick with me until then.

OK, back to the point of this post.  My gorgeous golden zucchinis! I had never seen these before so I had to have them! I knew immediately that I was going to stuff them.  My big problem was deciding what to use for the stuffing.  It had to be something that Mr. Lucky would eat, like I said, not always an easy thing to accomplish.

I finally decided on a simple mixture of onions, mushrooms, seasoned breadcrumbs and some Parmesan cheese.  I didn't really use exact measurements but I will approximate for you.

1 medium Vidalia onion, diced
4-6 oz mushrooms, chopped (I used button mushrooms)
1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 - 1 tsp minced garlic
Salt & Pepper to taste
1-2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Butter

Heat the oil and butter in a skillet on medium heat. Add in the onions and cook them until they are a bit softened then add in the mushrooms.  Let the mushrooms cook down a bit then add the thyme, garlic and salt and pepper.  Stir everything together and let it cook for a bit.  Taste the mixture to be sure it is seasoned enough.  Take the mixture off the heat and add the breadcrumbs and Parmesan.  Mix until everything is combined.  Set aside too cool before stuffing the zucchinis.

The onion/mushroom mixture





After I made the stuffing I cut off the tops and scooped out the the zucchinis.  I used a melon baller for this and it turned out to be super easy.






Ready to be stuffed!




If I ever find these little guys again I will salt and pepper the insides after I scoop them out.  Maybe just a little bit of olive oil.

Each zucchini took about 2-3 Tbsp of the stuffing to fill up.  Again, I am just estimating.  I am not a big measure-er when I am just whipping something up.  I always measure the first time I make a recipe though.


I sprinkled a little more Parmesan on the tops and put them in a foil lined baking pan that I had drizzled with a little olive oil.  I baked them at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes.  They came out perfectly tender and the stuffing had crisped up a little bit on the top. 


I am so glad I bought these.  And....... drum roll please....... Mr. Lucky liked them!  Mission accomplished!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Rotisserie....

I told you a few posts ago about my new kitchen toy, the George Foreman rotisserie. I used it and I am totally in love with it!

On my recent trip to Whole Foods I bought some amazing grass fed rib eye steaks. (I apologize if any of you are vegetarians, I am very happily a meat eater.)  These steaks were probably three times as expensive as the once we regularly buy but they were good, beyond good, AWESOME!




 
Notice how I cropped the price out?  I do not want to be responsible for any heart attacks.

I had originally planned to grill these but the weather just didn't want to cooperate.  Perfect opportunity to use my new rotisserie right? Right!

For items that aren't big enough to go onto the rotisserie arm you use a basket.  I was kinda skeptical but seasoned the meat with some salt and pepper and put them into the basket and set the timer.  They took about 25-30 minutes.  The best part about this was I could make all the other parts of dinner and not have to worry about turning the steaks on the grill or in the broiler. 

To go with the steaks I made some baby red, white and purple potatoes and some brown sugar glazed carrots.









Aren't those carrots adorable?  As soon as I saw them I had to buy them. Damn Whole Foods and their produce department.

The potatoes were simple. I just boiled them in salted water and served them with some butter.  For the carrots I boiled them until they were tender, drained them and sauteed them with about a tablespoon of butter and a healthy teaspoon of brown sugar until the sugar was dissolved.  Yum!



This dinner was delicious and so simple thanks to the rotisserie. I cannot wait to use it again.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Berry Picking....

I have been driving by the sign for Ward's Berry Farm on the highway for years and never stopped.  Until today. My brother John, his wife Nancy, and I took our nephew Aedan for a blueberry picking outing.  My dad also, reluctantly, came along.

  
Aedan & his Papa

 We bought six pints to fill: two for me, two for John & Nancy and two for Aedan to bring home to his parents.  The pints cost $3 each which I thought was fairly decent considering the pints at the grocery store were $2.99 and who knows where those berries came from. 

   
Being helpful!
We had a great time and filled those pints up pretty quickly. I think Dad even had a good time.  I know Aedan did, he walked from bush to bush picking and eating.


The bushes were full of ripe berries with plenty more yet to ripen.  I am considering going back this week because I used my first batch to make some blueberry jam.  You'll hear all about that soon.  Here are my beautiful blueberries.....

I almost just ate them right from the containers.
So, if you are local definitely check out Ward's Berry Farm!  They have strawberries in the spring, blueberries in the summer and pumpkins in the fall.  They also have a fantastic farm stand with tons of other local produce. Well worth the trip!

Monday, July 18, 2011

I heart Whole Foods....

I truly love Whole Foods Market.  It is like food porn for me. I could, honestly, wander up and down the aisles for hours.  Well, maybe not hours but a lot longer than I should or is normal. 

The local store is only in the next town but I hardly ever go.  This past Friday I didn't have to work and I was bored so I hopped in the car and it took me to Whole Foods. 

As much as I love the place it is a little on the pricey side but most of the items I end up getting I can't find anywhere else. I am rationalizing, I know! So, what did get?  Too much!!!!

You don't even want to know what I spent on all this!

Can you see it all?  I got a fruit tart for each of us, grass fed beef rib eyes, lemon herb chicken cutlets, grape tomatoes to roast for pasta pomodoro, fresh fettuccini for the pasta pomodoro, rainbow potatoes (red, white & purple), pita chips, garlic & herb spread for the pita chips, fresh green beans, baby carrots, a salad from the salad bar, some sliced strawberries & pineapple and a Green Mountain chocolate bar.  That turned into 3 meals for Mr. Lucky and I and a lunch for me.  We also had Chelle over for one of those dinners. I spent a lot but I think I got a lot too.  Rationalizing again???

I plan to fill you in on all the meals.  Stay tuned!

A new toy....

A week or so ago Mr. Lucky helped his parents with their yard sale.  They did not make much money but they enjoyed their time together.  His mom offered him one of the items that didn't sell and he snapped it right up....

And it was free!!!
It's a George Forman rotisserie.  We had planned to buy one but just never got around to it.  I was so excited when Mr. Lucky came home with it, I could not wait to use it.  When I do use it you'll be the first to hear all about it.