Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Yes. I titled this Sliders. As in yum. Not as in the desperate Indian's mascot Slider who is failing at doing anything to help the Indian's win.  Well, the team isn't helping too much either.  Anyway, I wanted to make EVERY burger they had in Food Network Magazine, but my parent's tiny little stomachs wouldn't be able to handle it. (And when I say tiny, I mean tiny; at dinner, I eat more than the two of them combined)  So I settled for three different baby sliders:
This is just the beginning of the burgers (the best part--the meat, obviously--is yet to come). The slider on the left, the Bistro Burger, is dressed with dijon mustard, a frisee salad, which includes frisee lettuce, sliced shallots, oil, dijon mustard, and bacon drippings.  The tiny patty was eventually topped with crispy bacon and a fried egg.  The one in the middle, the Italian Burger, begins with gorgonzola cheese,  then arugula lettuce with balsamic vinaigrette is between that and the patty.  Then the meat is topped with thin sliced salami (more meat, what else?), and baby bella mushrooms sauteed in olive oil and Italian seasonings.  Lastly, the burger on the right was to become a garden burger.  It begins with a slice of tomato topped with red leaf lettuce then is topped with avocado and alfalfa sprouts tossed in a green goddess dressing (a mayonaise, basil, lemon and chives mixture).
The dinner resulted in:
They ended up being not as messy as they look right here!  However, I must admit, it was still too much food for my parents.  I'll save the sides for another day! :)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Green Beans and a Poached Egg

So, with leftover lemon-hazelnut pesto, I had to find a way to use it AND the green beans that were a day away from going bad in my fridge.  So I used a variation of this recipe in order to "kill two birds with one stone" (as you can tell, I HATE wasting food).  So, this started with the first challenge: I've never poached an egg. Can you believe it? I've cooked dozens of incredibly complicated recipes, but never even poached an egg!  And I'll let you in on a little secret.  I was nervous.  For something my 87-year-old grandpa does everyday. I started with boiling some water, then cracking an egg into a little ramekin.  Then, with the bottom of the ramekin in the water, I poured the egg in and let the white whiten.  I kept it in there for approximately four minutes:
While this was happening, I cooked my green beans in the leftover pesto:
Then look how beautiful the egg turned out!
And the beans:
And, lastly, the finished product:
The egg dripping over the beans was a wonderful texture.  However, if I were to make this again (which I would-I mean, protein and veggies? My two favorite food groups!), I wouldn't use such a lemon-flavored pesto.  It doesn't go well with the egg; the acidity was too much for the subtle buttery flavor of the yolk.  But I'm sure a regular pesto would be fantastic. Be sure to finish by adding some freshly cracked pepper on the egg-it's the only way to have it!

Stuffed 8-ball Zucchini

While at the farmer's market on Saturday, I finished selling my granola and then made my "rounds" at the end of the day.   I complimented a nice lady on the 8-ball zucchini she was selling-they were beautiful!  Not only did she say thank you, but she gave me four! So I tried to do my best to make the free food worth it.  I used this recipe and it proved only...okay. I guess things don't always turn out like the picture!  I started by scooping out the flesh at and sautéing it:
Then I added cooked rice, chopped basil, sun-dried tomatoes that had been soaked in hot water and chopped, pine nuts, minced garlic and kalamata olives:
After sauteing the mixture, I stuffed it into the zucchini (there was a fair amount left over) and baked it at 400 for 20 minutes:
I didn't like this recipe because the sauteed mixture was incredibly watery and even after 20 minutes in the oven, the shells felt uncooked and flavorless.  There was not enough garlic flavor or salt from the olives and tomatoes.  So, if you do feel the desire to make (and fix) this recipe, I would add some more flavor of your own, drain the mixture, and roast for TWICE as long.  It was definitely an experience and one worth learning from!
*The key to being efficient is to make sure that your ingredients are in the state that they are stated in the ingredient list! If it asks for cooked rice, be sure to cook your rice before you start anything else in the recipe :)