Monthly Archives: July 2010

Summer Corn Chowder

One of my new favorite blogs is Food 52. The recipes are delicious and inspiring, but I really love the videos. Apparently I’m a visual learner. I first learned this when I found the Pioneer Woman’s cooking blog. Seeing pictures of her cooking showed me that it wasn’t that hard and eventually I ventured out of my very very small cooking comfort zone. Well Food 52 has taken it a step above that. Videos!

The first recipe video I watched was summer corn chowder. It was so inspiring I had to make it the next day. It was just as delicious as it looked. I made it again just the other day I enjoyed it so much. Its such a simple, yet delicious soup. It might have to do with the heavy cream.

Summer corn chowder features summer vegetables in a creamy soup. The first time I made it I didn’t have potatoes on hand so I substituted frozen green peas. It was a delightful addition which added some color. I really enjoyed the potatoes the second time, but missed the peas. Next time I’ll use potatoes and peas!

Also, don’t be shy about adding your favorite herbs. Next time I’m going to be more adventurous in herbs. The previous two times I’ve added chives and parsley. I’m thinking of adding fresh thyme and basil for my next batch.

Try summer corn chowder soon and enjoy the seasons vegetables while you still can!


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Pimento Cheese

Southern pronunciation “puh-min-A”. This is a staple in most Southern homes, especially in the summer. It is absent from How to Cook Everything and I found myself scouring the internet looking for some guidance.

My mother never made it at home, I don’t think she likes it. So I was never exposed to it as a child. My very few encounters with it I didn’t like it, but then I might not have even given it a fair chance.

Not too long ago I was given a pimento cheese sandwhich and I ate it. It wasn’t as horrible as I had thought it would be. And so it struck me the other day to set out to make my very own batch of homemade pimento cheese.

My natural first choice to investigate was Southern Living. And it did not disappoint. This post was my starting point. After looking at a few more recipes online I was ready to make it myself.

I didn’t vary too much from the Southern Living post. Instead of using fresh onion I used onion powder. This was something that a few of the other recipes did. I also used a mixture of white and yellow cheddar. The batch turned out pretty good. Its not totally perfected (at least to my tastebuds) yet. But I still want to read a few recipes in cookbooks I own as well as consult a few family members.

Do you make pimento cheese? How do you do it?

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Tuna Salad with Lemon and Olive Oil p. 162

Tuna fish salad. Hmm… Not a huge fan. But after creating and updating the Cooking Everything tab, I was determine to beef up the sandwich section. Also, we were attending an outdoor concert and I thought this would be a great dinner to serve.

This isn’t your typical tuna fish salad with the mayo and other stuff. Its a pretty basic, pretty typical How to Cook Everything/Mark Bittman salad. Olive oil, shallot, capers, fresh parsley, salt and pepper.

I served it up in pita pockets which made a nice, neat little dinner sandwhich.

And while tuna fish salad is still not my favorite salad ever, this version wasn’t too bad.

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Grilled Cheese p. 166

When I was away at college, having to eat out of a cafeteria for the majority of my meals, grilled cheese became my fall back meal. When the “home cooking” area looked like it came out of a can (which was often) and the pasta section was too greasy (also often) and I was tired of salads, I’d fall into line at the grill for my standard grilled cheese and fries. It was delicious, but my friends and I worried about my arteries. After about a year of my grilled cheese diet I moved back home and I haven’t had one since the last few months. A favorite restaurant nearby, Cafe Eclectic has  the most delicious (and cheap!) grilled cheese. Bryan and I like to go and split it as an afternoon snack.

Craving a delicious, and most importantly, simple dinner, Bryan and I made grilled cheese. Its one of the most flexible meals you can make. No specifics on bread or cheese. Whatever you have and/or whatever you prefer. We used a country white bread and gruyere cheese.

First butter your bread slices and the pan. Once the butter in the pan has melted add you first slice, add the cheese, then the final slice of bread and stack a plate or something heavy to squish it down.

squash the sandwhich!

We found after our first couple of sandwiches it was easier to skip this step and simply press the back of the spatula on it a few times.

Cook a minute or two on each side and serve hot!

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Bean Salad p. 215

I hate beans. I’ve never been a fan. Especially after my mom fed me bean soup what felt like non-stop for a few years there. But I’ve made a commitment to this project. When I made it I realized I was going to have to make a few things I didn’t like, mainly the whole bean section. There is a whole chapter devoted to beans!!! (You will notice my bean section lacking due to my excitement over beans.)

Preparing for an picnic dinner I thought a cold bean salad would be the perfect accompaniement to tuna salad! I’m not sure what I was thinking planning to make a whole meal of food I don’t like for a venue with very little food for purchase. Not one of my brightest moments. Or maybe it was. Maybe I new that I wouldn’t want to eat either and so I would have to force myself to eat it by taking me out of my comfort zone (where the fridge and pantry are within a few feet).

First you must cook your beans. See pages 411-413 if you are unsure of how to do this.

Beans a cookin'Once they are cooked, drain, and mix in the other ingredients (vinegar, red onion, olive oil, and fresh parsley).

It wasn’t too horrible, but I still don’t like beans. I ate a serving and then gave the rest of the bowl away to people who do like beans.

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Simplest Huevos Rancheros p. 800-1


Eggs, salsa, cheese. Couldn’t be simpler!

I originally was looking at the regular huevos rancheros, but it involved too many steps and ingredients for a breakfast dish for me. I like my morning meals simple. Not necessarily simple in flavors or consistency, but simple in effort put in to it.

Scramble the eggs and just as they are almost set stir in the salsa and cheese.

Not the most appetizing bowl of eggs you’ve seen, but delicious!

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Nutella Ice Cream

I love Nutella. I love ice cream. Why I haven’t put these two together earlier, I don’t know. But its one of the most ingenious ideas I’d ever heard of.

I stumbled upon this recipe on the blog: Dinner with Julie. I’d link to the recipe directly, but my link is appearing to be broken.

It suggested using 1 cup Nutella and 2 cups milk or half and half or whipping cream. I can’t remember exactly. Instead of measuring properly I decided to use the whole jar of nutella. First warm it up a few seconds in the mircowave. I suppose you could use a sauce pan over the oven, but that’s just something else to clean. Once its softened a bit stir it in with the milk. Make sure you use a big bowl because I didn’t use a big enough bowl to allow for whisking. The idea is to make it smooth. Then pour into your ice cream maker and make as directed.

churning in the ice cream machine

Since I was unsure of how much it would make and I used more Nutella than the original recipe called for my batch turned our really rich and really small. It made just over a pint of ice cream. Next time I will still use the whole jar, but probably do 3 cups milk.

nutella ice cream in quart container. Doesn't quite fill it up.


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