Making Room In the Fridge For Thanksgiving

We often have remnants of veggie odds and ends in our crisper. I’ll usually make a quick soup with the veggies, broth and some thyme and oregano. It’s a family staple. But I thought I’d try something new since I also had a bunch of eggs from the girls (our chickens).

This is also a quick meal you can prepare in the “week before Thanksgiving” calm.

Cleaning the kitchen frittata

Egg and Veggie Frittata (kinda)

  • 4-5 eggs, beaten
  • Any veggies cut into bite sized pieces (I used broccolini, cabbage, leeks, peas and zucchini) Leeks are really good in this.
  • 3 TBSP goat cheese (chevre)
  • 1 TBSP butter
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat butter in a large non-stick pan. Add all your veggies and cook until just tender. Reduce the temperature to medium/low. Add the eggs and goat cheese. Move the bottom of the eggs around so they begin to cook through (but don’t stir). Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Flip the egg mixture and cook until fluffy.

Enjoy with a nice salad or toasted bread!

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Easy Dinners A Week Before Thanksgiving – part 1

I don’t know about you but my counter space is starting to get filled up with preparations for Thanksgiving. With spiced nuts, savory jams, stuffed olives, stuffing, pumpkins, spices, stock, fried onions, and other scrumptious bits waiting for the BIG day taking up space on my counter, it’s super hard to get inspired to cook tonight’s meal. And, I don’t want to spend too much time cooking when I know I’ll be packing in two days worth of stove watching in a week.

So, it’s dinners like clam linguini/spaghetti that I turn to in times like these (it doesn’t hurt that they’re super easy and delicious).

Clam Linguini

Super Easy Clam Linguini

Serves 2.5

  • 15 little neck clams (live)
  • a splash of white wine (and then you can drink the rest of the bottle while preparing and eating your easy dinner)
  • 1 TBSP butter
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 shallot, sliced thinly
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 lemon, cut into super thin slices with the peel
  • a pinch of red pepper flakes (we save these for after the kiddo gets her serving)
  • a pinch of parsley for color and freshness
  • linguini for 3 (you can use spaghetti in a pinch)
  • salt
  • reserved pasta water
  • Parmesan cheese

Start a pot of water over high heat until boiling. Add a good 1 TBSP of salt to the boiling water (this is the only salt in the dish) then add your pasta. Cook according to the package directions.

In a pan, heat your butter and oil. Add shallots and garlic and cook until fragrant (about 1 min). Add clams and a splash of your wine. Cover and let steam until the clams open. Once opened, add your lemon and cooked pasta. At this point, you might need to add a bit of the reserved pasta water (I usually add 1 – 2 ladles).

Sprinkle with parsley and serve with Parmesan and red pepper flakes.

Enjoy!!

Late Spring Lobster and Mint Pasta

I know. I know. At least I’m back and I have loads to share.

This recipe is so random that it inspired the return just so i can archive it for frequent rotation.

Who knew mint and lobster were delicious together. Oh and be aware, we showered it with Parmesan – a classic “no, no” with seafood pasta. But seriously, you should try it … You might like it.

Lobster and Mint Pasta

(Feeds 2.5)

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* 2-3 lobster tails (ours were tiny and I wish I had 3. Whole Foods has 2 for $12 right now)
* 1 shallot, sliced thin
* 1-2 large garlic cloves, sliced thin
* 2 knobs of unsalted butter (~ 2 TBSP)
* 1 TBSP olive oil
* 7-10 mint leaves, cut thinly
* 2 pinches of red chili flakes
* a handful of spaghetti or linguini (don’t throw out the pasta water)
* salt for pasta water
* Parmesan

Boil a big pot of water for the pasta. Add a large handful of salt to the water prior to adding the pasta. I heard once that the water should be as salty as the sea. If you do this, you won’t need to add any more salt.

In another small pot, steam the lobster tails until they are pink (~5-7 mins). I have this great silicon steamer that fits into any pot. If you don’t have this, put a bit of water in your pot then one small plate (that fits in the pot) facing down and one facing up on top of it. Make sure these plates are heat safe. Then put the lobsters on that plate.

In a pan, melt 1 TBSP of the butter and add the olive oil. Cook the shallots and garlic until tender.

Once the lobster tails are cooked, pull the meat from the tails and slice them into 1″ pieces. Add them to the shallots and garlic. Add the remaining butter. Add cooked pasta straight from the boiling water to the pan. Add a few spoonfuls of pasta water to the pan ~1/4 cup. Cook a bit until the sauce coats the pasta.

Now if you have little ones at home, reserve the chili and mint for the adults to add to their own dishes. Otherwise, add the chili flakes now.

Serve with mint and Parmesan. Mmm!

Summer’s bounty as a Mediterranean and quinoa salad

The other night was a warm one (I know, it’s Summer and it’s supposed to be warm). Well in our little hometown, we’re usually blanketed in coastal fog June through August which makes it super chilly and wet.
So given the rarity (and desire not to “cook”), our family celebrated the Summer’s bounty with a Mediterranean chopped salad over quinoa. It was scrumptious. In fact, I’m all ready to make it again along with the fried squash blossoms from last night.

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Mediterranean chopped salad

  • 1 medium zucchini quartered lengthwise and sliced
  • 1/2 small summer squash quartered lengthwise and sliced (great for color)
  • 1 medium cucumber diced
  • 1/2 red onion diced
  • 1 handful of black olives sliced
  • A good hunk of Harley Farms feta cheese broken up with your fingers
  • 2 small heirloom tomatoes diced
  • 2 stalks of celery sliced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper diced
  • 1/4 cup (or a mini handful) of fresh mint leaves chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • drizzle of balsamic vinegar

Mix first nine ingredients in a bowl.

Put cooked quinoa (I liked it a bit warm but it’s also great cold) into a bowl. Drizzle the quinoa with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Dress with the chopped salad. Eat!

Scrump-dilie-umptious!

Note: this can be made a day ahead. But don’t blame me if you can’t keep your paws out of the dish.

Picnic Dinners

Sometimes, picnic dinners are the best. Whether the baby took longer than expected to go to sleep, there was traffic getting home and it’s now 7:30, it’s too hot outside to turn on the stove (that would be nice), or you just don’t have the motivation to cook, a hodge podge of condiments, cheeses, meats and crackers are what’s necessary (especially if it also includes a glass of wine).

I always have crackers, some cheese and olives on hand for this occasion. You could even freeze some artisan cheese and pull it out when you get home. Once you’ve got your “grubbies” on, the animals are fed and you’ve had some time to unwind from the day, your cheese will be ready to snack on.

I was lucky enough to find myself in Santa Cruz yesterday and so I stopped in at El Salchichero. One of the cheeses is a farmstead goat cheese called Capricious from Achadinha in Petaluma and is so freaking good. The other cheese is a triple cream brie. We also had some assorted olives, roasted tomatoes, crackers and bread, figs, dark chocolate covered almonds and extremely local honey (like from the house 4 doors down local).

My favorite combo was a cracker with the Capricious, a sliced fig and drizzle of honey.

Go get in your grubbies* and have a carpet picnic tonight.

*Mom would call her house clothes or pajamas “grubbies” and it stuck.