Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Capponata vegetables

More on those vegetables.  As the summer days start to dwindle we are trying to enjoy as much of of the fresh vegetables as possible   Capponata is one of my favorite easy summer meals that my family cooks.  A tip passed along from one family memeber is to cook all the vegetables separately.  So here is how I tried making this capponata
1.  First got all vegetables washed and chopped onions, eggplant, sweet and/or hot peeppers, 1 tomato 1 garlic clove and zucchini.
2.  Next heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil then add the onions. Cook till clear and tender about 2-3 minutes, then scoop out the onions and put in a dish.
3.  Keep the flame about medium just enough to keep the pan and oil warm througout this recipe.
4.  Add the the eggplant and cook till tender about 5 minutes tossing at least onces so it does not burn.  When done scoop out and add to onions.
5.  If needed add  little more oil and heat it up then add  peppers.  If you like it spicy add some hot cherry peppers.  Cook for about 3-4 minutes tell tender then scoop them out and add to the eggplant and onions. 
6.  Lastly is the zucchini.  I used the inside of the zucchini from the stuffed vegetables.    Cook the zucchini first by itself for about 2 minutes then add the tomato and if you like a little salt, pepper and garlic.  Cook for about 2 minutes till zucchini is clear do not over cook tomatoes.  Scoop out and add to the rest of the vegetabeles.
7.  Toss all the vegetables together and add a few leaves of fresh basil.
This goes well as a side, over pasta or just by itself with fresh bread.
Joining in this week for Ginny's yarn along.   Latley I haven't been keeping up with my own reading I've been doing more collecting.  Since Border's is going out of business I found a few good books on sale.  The Secret Life of Bees in Spanish and Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls.  I'm excited about Jeannette Walls new book she is  the author of  The Glass Castle which is a really good memoir.
Nothing new for crochetting or knitting just chugging away at my current projects :) 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Stuffing Vegetables

This vegetable post is a follow up from Friday's Moment. We are starting to see more tomatoes, zucchini, squash, peppers and eggplant in our csa these past few weeks.  There isn't enough to make a big meal out of one vegetable but if there is one or two or each vegetable put them all together with some meat or vegetarian stuffing we have stuffed vegetables.
I have done this a few times and have always wanted to share but wasn't so sure how because I don't have  a written recipe and there are so many variations and possibilites.  So I decided to just break it down by vegetable and then explain the filling.

1. Tomatoes (mine and Stefania's favorite):
I cut off the tops and freeze them for soups or another recipe.  Next scoop out the middle without puncturing the sides.  Set aside the inside juice for something else or freeze. You are now left with just the shell set aside till they are ready to be stuffed. 

2.  Zucchini:
Wash and slice lengthwise.
Next cut out or scoop with a spoon as much of the inside withouth pucturing the zucchini shell.  Set aside the inside of the zucchini for the stuffing or another recipe. 
As for the shell you can do one of two things Option 1:  Steam the zucchini shell for about 3 minutes till tender.  Cool down then stuff when ready.  This will cut down the cooking time when they are stuffed and in the oven.  Option 2:  Set the shell aside in a pan till ready to be stuffed. If you choose to stuff them when the zucchini is raw it will take longer in the oven to cook almost 1 hour. 

3.  Bell Peppers:
Wash, cut off stems and take out seeds and white inside pepper.  The bell peppers must be steamed for about 3 minutes, cooled down and then suffed.  Steaming them a little will help with the cooking time in the oven otherwise they will  cook too slowly.

4. Stuffing the vegetables: 
Now that you have your vegetables lready you can begin stuffing them with your favorite meat or vegetarian mixture.  My meat is cooked turkey meatballs. I would recommend preparaing and cooking your filling ahead of time. If the filling is not cooked it will take much longer in the oven. 

This is where the helpers come in for the stuffing and pouring sauce in the bottom of  the baking dishes and over the vegetables.    If allowed sprinkle a little mozzarella cheese.  Then cover and cook for about 20-30 minutes.  Remove the cover the last 5 miinutes. 
Enjoy your summer stuffed vegetables!
There will be a post in the next day or two of how I used the insides of the vegetables.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Stormy Sunday

We spent the day in the art studio and sewing studio while Irene stormed into New England today.  Now I'm bracing myself for the 11:00 news to see what happened everywhere else.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Wednesday Yarn Along

Joining this week on the Small Things yarn along.  I have been picking up and putting down the same book for over a week now but haven't started reading it.  Yesterday got this batch of books to add to my library.
I have also been browsing this magazine for some knitting inspiration.
In between I have been catching up on some crochetting and making progress.

Hoping I'll be done with this throw soon and have a better picture.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Monday Links

After a weekend of freezing vegetables I dared something new for me I pickled peppers today.  It's my first canning experience so I'm hoping for the best once they are ready.  Next canning day I'm hoping will be the pickling cucumbers.  But that's it for canning this season not ready to venture more into canning. 

For now I'll stick with the things that I'm comfortable with and trying new things I find in books and the blogs for inspiration. 

:: I'm undecided about buying a bamboo utensil set , bambu sporks or this wooden utensil set. 
::  These peg people are too cute and these too.
:: I decided to start keeping those magnets that come in the mail so I can make these magnets.
:: This garland idea is cute great for using felt or fabric scraps.
:: Must remember these gift tags for the holidays.
:: Been thinking about a paper cutter would come in handy to cut squares for this mosiac.
:: Love this article about not giving up to go with my favorite book.
:: Been  enjoying making seasoned popcorn.
:: Never thought of making applesauce in a crockpot.
:: Freezing meatloaf may be a good dinner some night.

Well that's today's list inspirations.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

A Freezing Weekend

Spent the weekend in the kitchen freezing vegetables.

 Plenty of tomatoes for salsa, chilis and soups.
 I'm trying out this year chopping and freezing peppers for salsas chilis and stir fry dinners.
I meant to freeze these beets but changed my mind and decided to use them this week for salads.
It's definitely that time of year where I finish freezing one vegetable and then there is more waiting.  I just keep reminding myself this will be worth it in the winter when I open my freezer :)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Zucchini Salsa

I came across this recipe in my csa newsletter I wouldn't consider it a salsa but a really yummy side.

Zucchini Salsa
2 tablespoons white or red vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 garlic clove crushed (or a sprinkle of garlic powder
2 cups fresh or frozen cooked corn kernals
1 cup coarsley chopped zucchini
1 cup chopped, seeded red bell pepper (optional)
1/3 cup chopped green onions
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil.

Combine vinegar, oil, cumin and garlic: mix well.  Stir in remaining ingredients. Refrigerate or serve immediately if you can't help yourself.

Where have I been?

Welll I have been all over this kitchen and in the freezer.  Between the csa and Saturday trips to the Farmer's Market we have been gathering, washing, parboiling, grilling.cutting, freezing and bagging. 
Here is the list of what's gone into the freezer
  • Greens beans- Wash cut into pieces, parboil, lay on a cookie sheet and freezer.  After they are frozen they were bagged.  I'm thinking pot pies this winter. 
  • Corn- Clean and boil for 2-4 minutes then take out of hot water and quickly put into a bowl of cold water with ice cubes.  Once it's cooled down cut off the cobb lay on a cookie sheet and freeze.  After they are frozen bag them and freeze.
  • Tomatoes - Wash, dice then lay on a cookie sheet and freeze and then later bag and freeze them.  Great for salsa, chilis and more.
  • Eggplant, zucchini and squash -Wash, cut into slices and grill for 3-4 minutes.  Then lay them on a cookie sheet, freeze and bag later.  Will make yummy vegetable sandiwiches, salads or pizza this winter.
  • Save the top part of the tomato put in th a bag in the freezer and use when making vegetable/chicken stock.
  • Peaches - Wash, peel and cut into slices lay on cookie sheet and freeze. Then bag and freeze.  Love the peaches for smoothies, cobblers and fruit crisps.
  • Green onions - Wash well, chop lay on a cookie sheet and freeze.  Then bag and freeze.  Great for various recipes this winter.  I only recently discovered this idea so I'll have to remember to do this sooner next year.
  • Red onions - Just slice these into big rings, lay on a cookie sheet and freeze.  Then bag and freeze.  I was thinking these will go great with the grilled vegeatable sandwiches.
  • Cherries - Wash, take out pits with cherry pitter and lay on a cookie sheet and freeze. Then bag and freeze. Great for smoothies and desserts.  The cherry pitter is awesome made the process go more smoothly.
Well that's what has been going into the feezer so far oh I forgot the pesto to add to the list. Well you get the point of where I have been between the pool and cleaning. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Sun Tea

My latest fun drink this summer has been sun tea!  A friend passed this along to me and I gave it a try and absolutely love it.  I also mentioned it to my mom and she said they used to do this in Italy too.  I'm beginning to feel like I'm the last to know how to make sun tea. 

This is how I made it:  Filled 1 big mason jar (4 cups)  with water and dropped in 4 tea bags for each jar.  Then put outside in the sunniest part of the backyard and let it brew for 2 hours.  After brought it in and took out the tea bags and put the jars in the refrigerator.

I know wouldn't it be easier to just boil water and then drop a tea bag in a cup of hot water?  But this is way more fun and they look so pretty outside.  I love how it doesn't look cloudy and the taste is not sweet.  I'm thinking my next batch of tea I'll drop in some lemon or peach slices.

Late Night Yarn Along

Well hello friends I apologize for the lack of un creative posts lately.   Last week I got carried by a sea of paperwork and 2 days straight of computer time.  After all that I needed a break and decided to tackle other places that needed attention specifically the art studio.  In between all this I have been collecting and doing a little reading of various materials

 Picked up a copy of the latest Stitch magazine and last week I won my first blog giveaway 1-2-3 Sew from House on Hill Road.  So so so excited by this book when I won and it came in the mail.:))
 While shopping today couldn't pass up these 2 magazines.

These books are what the kids have been reading lately. 

Lots of reading fun for everyone this week.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Yarn Along Wednesday

I'm dropping in a little late for the yarn along this Wednesday.  I took this picture this morning and it is now supper time.  The day got the best of me actually my paperwork and printer go the best of me and took over and now lost in a sea of it. 
So what's up for reading? I'm picking up In Their Own Way when I get a few minutes during the day.  A friend passed along this book in the picture Under The Chinaberry Tree which we have all picked and put down the past 2 days .  It's a book about various children's books great for this homeschooling family.
I did finish The 19th Wife.    A very good book I'm definitely keeping it in my library.  It had a lot of history and the references and author notes at the end where helpful in explaining what was fictional or true.  I can tell you this the book made me a little angry at the end don't know why and I'm definitely not interested in those reality shows with wives after reading this book.  I liked it how it went back and forth with the past when it all began and with the murder mystery that occurred present day.  I can see it would make a good tv movie but I'm glad I don't live it.
Hope you are enjoying your reads.
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