Friday, August 10, 2012

Foodie Friends Friday Linky Party!

Happy Friday everyone and welcome to another fabulous foodie linky party!  First and foremost, let's recap last week's top links!  

#1 Frozen Blueberry-Peaches and Cream Pie from Hun What's For Dinner
#2 Orange Pecan Brownies from Spatulas on Parade
#3 Grilled Veggie Medley from Cooking From A Stay At Home Mom

#1 Snickerdoodle Nutella Cookies from Mainely Bakes
#2 Fresh Raspberry Bars from My Biscuits Are Burning
#3 Dove Fudge from Dawn's Divine Delights

My personal favorite this week came from Zentmrs And The Mr with a fabulous 
Sweet corn and spicy pepper (which she grows herself!!) combined in a single dish!  For me, someone who LOVES both, this is a sure-fire winner!

This week, we have ANOTHER AMAZING GIVEAWAY!!  If you are voted Top Three, you will win a free e-cookbook!  Check it out:

How cool is that?!?!  So let's see the best you've got this week!  Here we go!

This week's hosts are:
Tracy at Busy Vegetarian Mom
Angie at A lil Country Sugar  
Sarah at Everything in the Kitchen Sink
Michelle at From Calculus to Cupcakes
Marlys at This and That
Lois at  Walking on Sunshine
Lindsey at Family Food Finds
Cindy at Cindys Recipes and Writings
Keira at Luscious Delights

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Simple Cucumber Salad

I know this was not on the weekly menu, but my garden is overflowing with cucumbers!!  I had to make a quick side dish for lunch one day and decided on this.  This simple salad, using only 4 ingredients, was something I grew up with.  If I hadn't, I might be unsure about the combination of ingredients, but trust me, it's great!  It is crisp and clean and compliments most meals.  If you want a super easy use for your cucumbers, give this a try.  

1 large cucumber, peeled, quartered, and sliced
3 Tbsp sugar
5 Tbsp white vinegar
toasted sesame seeds, to taste


  1. Combine all the ingredients into a medium sized bowl.  Mix well.
  2. It is best if you allow it to sit in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to combine. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Fresh Idea - Let The Little Ones Help!

Does this sound familiar?  You get home from picking up your CSA box or visiting your local farm/farmers market, and you are overwhelmed with the amount of produce that needs to be cleaned and prepped for the week to come.  It's not like the stuff comes shrink-wrapped from a store shelf!  At least I feel that way every time I come home with my veggies!  It is so easy to have the kids go play or distract them with something else so you can get through all that work as quickly as possible, but don't do it!  It's amazing what little kids can do!

My daughter has been helping me with my weekly produce prep since she turned three.  She is great at helping with herbs like parsley, cilantro, and basil.  She also loves taking the tops off cherry tomatoes and shucking corn!  Sure the process goes a lot slower than if I did it on my own, but it has so many advantages!  It is a wonderful time to talk and learn together.  She gets very excited about the vegetables and is more willing to try them when she has a hand in preparing them.

Even though you have so much to do (and never enough time to do it in), give your young children the chance to be involved in the kitchen.  It will end up being a cherished memory for the both of you!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Portobello, Pesto and Goat Cheese Panini

So I have been on a total panini kick lately.  Melted cheese deliciousness on crispy french bread?  What's not to love?!?  I have been playing around with different combinations and came up with this one.  Fresh pesto with mushrooms and goat cheese makes an amazing sandwich!  I knew it would be good, but it surpassed my expectations.  

The whole family loved it!  The pesto and mushrooms can be prepped earlier in the day, so the dinnertime rush can be kept to a minimum.  Serve with a simple salad or veggies (we chose roasted carrots on this day), and you have a tasty meal to satisfy the masses!  

rustic white bread (we use a french miche)
2 large portobello mushroom caps, remove stem and gills, sliced on angle
4-6 Tbsp olive oil, divided
2-3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 C pesto
3-4 oz crumbled goat cheese


  1. Place the mushroom slices into a bowl and toss with 3-4 Tbsp olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
  2. Heat the remaining olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Place the mushroom slices in a single layer on the skillet and cook until softened, about 2 minutes.  Flip and cook an additional 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside.  Chop into large pieces.
  4. Heat your panini press to medium-high heat.
  5. Butter the outer side of the bottom piece of bread.  Spread a layer of pesto on the inside of the bread.  Top with mushrooms and goat cheese.  Butter the outside of the top piece of bread and place it on top of the sandwich.
  6. Cook in your panini press until crust is golden, about 7-10 minutes.  
  7. Remove and let cool for a few minutes before slicing.  Eat and enjoy!
(makes 2 adult sandwiches and 1 kid sandwich)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Weekly Menu

What a wonderful trip to the farm this week!  We picked up some kale, romaine lettuce, basil, carrots, yellow watermelon, saticoy melon, cherry tomatoes, tomatoes, and brussels sprouts.  We also have more cucumbers from our backyard!  With this colorful selection of produce, we will be making the following meals this week:

  • Portobello, Pesto and Goat Cheese Panini with Roasted Carrots
    • using the basil and carrots

  • Gardein Crispy Chicken Wraps with Dijon Braised Brussels Sprouts
    • using the lettuce, tomatoes, sweet Maui onion, and brussels sprouts

  • Spinach Artichoke Calzones and Farmstand Greek Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette
    • using the romaine and tomatoes

We will be enjoying the yellow watermelon and saticoy melons for dessert.