Love Letters from the Kitchen

Categories Eating, Loving

I am not a woman who takes food lightly.  I love good food.  I love to cook.  I love to cook good food.  When I find a recipe that is particularly delicious or easy or family friendly – or whatever – I am a happy girl.  Best of all, I love how good food coupled with good friends and/or family make for a great time spent around the table.  Good food prepared by loving hands is a love letter for the soul.

To start off this week, I am going to catch up on a few great recipes we’ve tried over the past couple of weeks – some for just the three of us, some for friends and family who visited.  These are in no particular order other than the order in which I remembered to write about them.

Have to apologize for the lack of photos.  I know that would be really fabulous here, follows blogging protocol, etc.  But in each case, I was simply too excited by the sights and sounds on the plate to stop for the photo opp!  And on more than one occasion, we had guests for dinner and I was pretty sure they were not going to wait patiently while I photographed dinner.  Next time…  But if you follow the links to the original posts (and please do check out their work), you’ll find great pics there.

Happy reading…and then happy eating!

OK, first up: Pop over to How Sweet It Is and make Grilled Corn, Mushroom & Roasted Poblano Tacos with Chipotle Crema.  You will not be sorry.  I know they sound complicated, but I promise you they are not.  They are fantastic.  The only change I had to make was in the crema.  Apparently, you can not buy chipotles in adobo at my local supermarket.  Sad.  But I think I know where to get some for next time.  We will definitely be having those again.

On a side note, He Who Grills has found a delicious and simple way to grill corn on the cob.  Spray ears of corn (already husked) with extra virgin olive oil (we use one of those mister-things), add some ground black pepper. Wrap lightly in foil and grill for 20-25 minutes, turning a quarter turn every five to six minutes.

Next: I have always wanted to try making fried green tomatoes.  I LOVE tomatoes – can eat them just like an apple and so does Kidzilla.  I know I had them several years ago as an appetizer at a wedding or something and I recall that I liked them.  But since we live up here in the North and fried green tomatoes are more of a Southern dish, we just never came across them on a restaurant menu. Why not make them at home?  So I Googled “best fried green tomatoes” and got the World’s Best Recipe for Fried Green Tomatoes.

No kidding.  That is actually the title of the recipe.

They said “world’s best,” so I was not about to pass them by.  They turned out great.  I liked the specific detail in the instructions and think the sugar definitely does something special.

Remember the crab cakes I made to celebrate my rescinded shellfish allergy?  I defrosted a couple of those crab cakes from How Sweet It Is (they freeze beautifully, by the way).  Ate both tomatoes and crab cakes with this horseradish mayo sauce from Simply Recipes for a topper. (Only the sauce recipe here – I did not make these crab cakes.)

Kind of want to try that horseradish mayo on a nice roast beef sandwich.

In honor of Fab Husband’s new-found appreciation of cooked peppers, we served Roasted Red Pepper Penne with Mushrooms for guests a few nights ago.  I found that one on Honey What’s Cooking last week.  It worked exactly the way the recipe described and smelled fantastic while cooking.  Onions and garlic sizzling in a sauce pan always smell fantastic.  This had a terrific bold flavor and it was simply stunning to look at. Check out Honey’s photos – it turned out exactly like that.

We picked this one for dinner with friends who don’t tend to care much for red sauces or creamy sauces: Summer Vegetable Chicken Sauté from The New Sonoma Cookbook by Dr. Connie Guttersen, RD, PhD.  I bought this book a couple of months ago when we started to focus on eating more of a Mediterranean-style diet for overall health reasons.  We love this way of eating (even if we don’t do it one hundred percent of the time) and this particular cookbook is a favorite.  The recipe here is directly from the Guttersen cookbook (I checked); but I just happened to find it already typed up online at the California Olive Ranch website.  Our guests happily took leftovers home with them!

One more: Just because I’ve never made it, I wanted to find a good recipe for pasta primavera.  I ended up making Pioneer Woman’s Pasta Primavera because I absolutely loved how many veggies she had in there – so much more than the standard broccoli-carrots-cauliflower-peas variety.  It was quite good.  Maybe not the lightest pasta recipe on the planet, but worth making up for it elsewhere in your week.  Fab Husband and Kidzilla liked it.  Did I mention the huge veggie population?  I did add one little extra to it – some fresh lemon juice right at the end of the sauce prep.  Why?  Only because I had a terrific pasta primavera years ago at an event and it had a very distinct lemon taste to it.  I have not been able to find that same taste anywhere since.  Adding that bit of lemon did the trick here and it was exactly what I was looking for.

Some of these were quicker to prepare; others were a bit more involved.  But I don’t think any of them would qualify as “complicated” or “too hard.”  I am a busy woman.  I do not have the time or the brain power for dinners that are complicated or too hard – especially with Kidzilla as the sous chef!  Gotta stay on my toes.

Now go cook for the people you love!

Have a terrific week!

Lisa A. Listwa is a self-employed writer with experience in education, publishing, and the martial arts. Believing there was more to life than punching someone else’s time clock and inspired by the words of Henry David Thoreau, she traded her life as a high school educator for a life as a writer and hasn’t looked back. She is mother to one glorious handful of a daughter, wife to the nicest guy on the planet, and reluctant but devoted owner of three Rotten Cats. You can find her adventures and thoughts on living life deliberately here on the blog.

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