Friday, August 26, 2011

Food as Gift, Mike's Mussels & Fresh From the Garden!

I wrote a sweet essay I called "Food as Gift" that's going to be published in the upcoming September issue of "Cape Healing Arts". I shared two of my recipes for publication: one for Quiche and the other for Tomato & Tortellini Soup. They're both items I make often for my family. Since the article comes out September 1st, I thought one that included tomatoes would be useful because they're usually an over abundance of tomatoes as we head into September.

My neighbor has a wonderful garden and recently she invited me over to pick things I might enjoy. I used all the vegetables pictured here in a Cold Pasta Salad tossed with Feta, Italian Dressing and Balsamic Vinaigrette. It was yummy- even better because the vegetables were grown in her garden.
I love when people get passionate about a new recipe they try or create themselves. Recently, I saw a friend post about a sauce he made to dip his freshly steamed mussels in. I asked for the recipe so I could share it with you. I am a big fan of making good food and sharing it with others. He called it "Creamy Garlic and Wine Mussels".

I haven't always liked eating mussels, but since moving to the Cape I have had some very tasty ones at Chappaquoit Grill on 28A in West Falmouth and at Amari's on 6A in Sandwich. Amari's is just before the turn to Sandy Neck Beach and I've stopped there to pick up a batch of freshly steamed mussels before on the way down to watch a sunset.

Recipe for Mike's Creamy Garlic and Wine Mussels

1) Wash Mussels, take out any broken ones and place in a large pot with two cups of water.
2) Add lots of fresh chopped garlic, a whole small finely diced white onion, 3 tbsp. butter, fresh squeezed lemon, bunch of finely chopped fresh scallions and a sprinkle of fresh chopped basil and 1 cup dry white wine.
3) Steam for about five minutes. Drain, reserve liquid.
4) Place mussels in a large bowl.
5) Take the reserved liquid and add approximately a 1/4 cup of cream stir and place in a bowl.
You can either pour the liquid over the mussels or use in a separate bowl for dipping.
6) Make sure you have a loaf of really fresh, warmed sour dough bread to dip in the left over broth. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Following your Dreams and Peach & Pecan Strudel

"Trust in your heart." ~ Paulo Coelho

My Book-Club met last night. We just finished reading "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho. It's a fable about the importance of following your dreams and pursuing that which excites and interests you.

One thing I love to do is make good food and share it with others or spend time in my kitchen dreaming up new recipes.

One of the items I made last night was a Peach and Pecan Strudel. It's super easy and tastes yummy! In case you feel like giving it a try, here is my recipe:

Recipe for Peach & Pecan Strudel

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread out a pie crust or a sheet of puff pastry flat on to a baking sheet.

2) Spread cream cheese on the crust in a thin layer, sprinkle brown sugar, chopped pecans then peel and cut into small pieces two fresh peaches.
3) Fold over and crimp the edges of the pie crust or puff pastry as pictured above. Bake for 20 minutes or until begins to brown.

4) Let cool slightly. Make a glaze of 2 Tbsp. melted butter, 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 2 Tbsp. of peach juice. If you use canned peaches you can simply use the juice that the peaches are packed in. Whisk together and pour over the baked strudel.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Recipe for Blueberry Pie!

"One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating." ~ Luciano Pavarotti

Food's such a fun way to bring people together. Earlier this week my daughter Bella asked if I would make her a blueberry pie.

I picked up two large containers of fresh plump blueberries from Roche Bros. and decided to bake her one. It's so easy to make and especially right now when blueberries are so abundant and in season-- it's especially good.

Recipe for Blueberry Pie

1) For the Filling: In a medium bowl gently toss 4 cups of blueberries, 3 Tbsp cornstarch, 1 1/2 cups of white sugar, tsp. cinnamon and a squeeze of fresh lemon until berries are covered.

2) Either make a pie crust of your own, I have an easy recipe for one in "Meet Me in My Cape Cod Kitchen" or use a store bought refrigerated one and place one on the bottom of a pie plate. Pour the blueberry mixture in the center and top with 2 Tbsp. butter.

3) Place an additional pie crust over the top, fold over and crimp edges or you can cut strips of a second pie crust to make a lattice top, pictured above. (I used more than four cups of blueberries because I tossed in my extras so my pie overflowed with blueberries.)

4) Bake at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Dusk, Hand-Tossed Pizza & Company!

It was especially calm down at the beach the other night around dusk. It's my favorite time of day. Wednesday night I went down to the water right after making some really yummy home made pizza. I made a hand tossed with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese topped with sauteed shrimp & fresh garlic and a diced meatball and feta pizza. We have two pizza stones that are perfect for baking really yummy home-made pizza's. I also love sauteed fresh diced tomato, chopped onion and fresh garlic as a topping combination.
As for company, I definitely have more people come to visit me in the summer and I can't really blame anyone, it's an enchantingly beautiful place during the summer months.
In the winter, I still find solace from the natural beauty but it isn't quite the same as the long lazy days of summer and not nearly as many people come down to visit.
When I know company is about to arrive I like to think ahead and have some easy food combinations on hand. I want to feel relaxed when company comes but I also want them to have food ready and to feel like they can help themselves.
Of course, life gets busy so things don't always fall into place. Last night we ate a roasted lemon and pepper chicken, a large leafy green salad and corn on the cob! My favorite company is the kind that isn't afraid to help out in the kitchen. My kids Dad's mother is in town visiting from Texas and it's nice to have a couple of extra hands around to help out in the kitchen. She made dinner while I picked up my son from Basketball camp and brought my youngest daughter to running camp.
When I finally sat down to eat last night, it all tasted so delicious.