Sunday, September 30, 2012

Silver Linings {Menu Sunday}

I'm rather fond of silver linings.

Even when you have to reach for 'em...

You know, like "well, if the dog was going to shred a dirty diaper, eat a bunch of wipes, and then shit in three different rooms, at least it was solid turds and not diarrhea."

Yep. Just like that. 

Fall is my very favorite season. Although... it's a bit hard to get jazzed about tall boots, steaming pumpkiny dishes, and cuddly scarves when it's 92 degrees outside. 



High temps equal seemingly endless summer produce! 

Yep, it's entirely possible we'll be eating turkey and dressing with our shorts on come November, but it's highly probable my squash casserole will be made with local zucchini and yellow squash!

Hey, a girl's gotta hang her adorably pom-pommed and ear-muffed hat on something because it's too damn hot to wear otherwise, right?

Sauce Makin' Bizness

ANYHOO, we've been taking advantage of all the gorgeous tomatoes and summer squash still stocking the markets' aisles, as well as wiling away a little taste of summer for when we finally kiss the warm temperatures goodbye. 


I like to lazily pulse a bunch of heirloom and grape tomatoes together in small batches to be used in place of canned tomatoes throughout the winter.  Soups, chilis, and sauces just taste a little fresher this way!  

Tomatoes, Hatches, Beer Steins, & Teething Rings... Gang's all here!

Speaking of...

Slow-Cooker Spaghetti Sauce
adapted from Iowa Girl Eats
Slow-cooker Spaghetti Sauce #wfd
This sauce was delicious -- BIG raves from E!  And I was able to sub my "homemade" tomatoes for the canned crushed suckers that the recipe calls for. 

Veggie Primavera Flatbread
Veggie Primavera Flatbread {zucchini, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, shallot} #wfd
Apologies {per usual} for the poor photography... Please don't let it deter you, because this was insanely good!  I started by roasting a pound of cherry tomatoes {halved} for 15 minutes at 450 degrees.  E grilled a bunch of zucchini earlier in the week, but had I not had that on hand, I would have thrown in one of those {cut into rounds and then quartered} to roast as well.  After stretching out a batch of Whole Wheat No-Knead Dough, I sprinkled a bit of kosher salt on top before layering on the veggies {+ 2 thinly sliced shallots} and 4 oz of fresh mozzarella.  Then I baked the whole shebang at 450 for 15 {up to 18} minutes.  Super simple / super delicious / super fresh. 

Braised Chicken with Shallots & Grape Tomatoes + Parmesan Pearled Cous Cous
chicken recipe via Everyday Food
Braised Chicken with Shallots & Tomatoes + Israeli Cous Cous #wfd
Another recipe that definitely benefits from really good, fresh tomatoes... The only substitution I made was chicken breasts instead of thighs, because that's what I had on hand.  We really enjoyed this chicken... and L loved the leftovers!  For the side, I prepared pearled cous cous with chicken broth and stirred in about a third a cup of fresh Parmesan once it was finished cooking. 

Quinoa Cakes with Grilled Zucchini & Yellow Squash
quinoa cakes courtesy of Whole Living
Supper is "well done" tonight... Quinoa cakes + grilled zucchini #wfd #meatless
These were good, but I think I'll stick with my beloved quinoa cups... they're basically the same thing and much simpler.  Accompaniment was grilled zucchini and yellow squash... Um. Yeah. Everything was a wee bit well done.  Oh well. 

Crackly Banana Bread
I also made cracklin' banana bread. BAM. #winoproductivity
This did not last 24 hours in our house.  So ridiculously good -- and no butter or white sugar!  I used raw honey instead of maple syrup as that's what I had in my pantry.  I also made a second loaf {I KNOW} with a can of pumpkin instead of the bananas and cinnamon apple sauce instead of honey / maple syrup.  The pumpkin variety is also amazing, but I did have to cook it much longer... probably about 80 minutes. 


  1. Everything looks delicious!! Quick question about pulsing your own tomatoes, do you add anything? Salt, etc? or just pulse them together? Thanks! :)

    1. Just the tomatoes by themselves! Then I just add whatever the recipe calls for once I defrost.

  2. I just have to say - I love a woman who will use the word "turd" in a blog post. Even better when it's followed up by a recipe. You made my morning. Seriously.

    I need to try that banana bread recipe ASAP. Martha Stewart has a great recipe with sour cream that's my go-to but Deb at Smitten Kitchen has never disappointed me. Add in your glowing review - I'm sold.

  3. We have experienced diaper-eating dog. He managed to get himself outside, however. Yikes.
    I made quinoa for the first time last week. It was unexpectedly crunchy. Is it supposed to be? You have a link to a site about cooking fluffy quinoa on in the quinoa cups recipe. I will try that method next time (rinsing, toasting, etc).

    1. Hmmmmm, crunchy... It definitely has a bit of a bite to it. But maybe add more liquid? I also find that the red and black varieties tend to be firmer than the tan.


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