It all started with the ridiculous amounts of mushroom I usually buy from the grocery store. I always over estimate the quantity for mushroom consumption in our family. So, as it is with all those brilliant ideas, when stars align and you have just the right ingredients (and heaps of mushroom) in your kitchen, I found a tasty combination of mushroom and puff pastry – the Mushroom Pastry!
» Archive for the 'Vegetarian' Category
Don’t you love those days when you can freely fire up your oven, cooking in sub-zero, Polar Vortex days as we have this wonderful winter in Chicago. There’s something comforting about that. Looks like the North Pole decided to move down here and we are uber-thrilled. Or NOT.
Every now and then we would have enough of this, pack up and head to Florida for a month or so. At least we break this winter in two. That’s when I tried this roasted peppers pasta, inspired from Jamie Oliver’s Cook with Jamie
I twisted this recipe adding mushroom and asparagus, which both can be easily left out if you aren’t a fan of those. Same with Blue Cheese which understandably, isn’t everyone’s friend. This dish includes plenty assertive ingredients (anchovies, garlic, blue cheese) to have a glorious outcome.
…but I’ll just eat the Prunus persica (aka peach), thank you! After 3-1/2 years the Madison peach tree that my wife Steph planted is happy and producing more that it can bear (literally). I had to prop up its tiny branches with bungee ropes hooked to an improvised wooden tripod so they won’t break off. It produced abundantly this year (about 50 to 60 peaches) with no pesticides, growth hormones whatsoever. The proof is the worm! Last year we lost all 16 but 2 of them to the bloody squirrels (we hates them!), but this year we observed that if we leave the lawn to grow long enough, they seem to hesitate to walk over it. Not sure how much truth there is in this theory (beside the fact that we have a pretty un-kept back yard lawn), but it looked like each time they wanted to approach the peach tree, they kept stopping by the driveway border then turning back hissing mad as if their evil plan failed. I guess it’s a more humane way to keep them out of our trees than I previous thought of [ahem], and I won’t go into details here.
In hot and humid Chicago summer days, when the AC is almost always on, (don’t remind me of the electricity bill), the last thing I want to do is spend the afternoon in the kitchen having the oven or stove on. I admit, I need an effort to become creative at whipping out dishes (decent ones, mind you) under one hour. I usually take refuge doing something on the grill, but there are days when I couldn’t bear the sight or smell of barbecued meat (as much as I love it!). So then, what do I do? Start by opening the fridge veggie bins for some inspiration. That quickly turns me off since sometimes all I find are some pathetic wilted scallions or forgotten half bell peppers. I am a very clumsy meal planner, so most of the time I have to improvise with what’s at hand. And oh look! What’s on our counter!! A beautiful bouquet of fresh basil that my brother in law brought over from his garden! My creative wheels start to turn. I open the freezer, there lies a package of walnuts. A jar of sun dried tomatoes in the fridge. Enough garlic to feed an army. I look at the clock – it’s 5:15 p.m. Heck, I might be able to pull it off too feed them for our religious 6 o’clock-dinner-on-the-table time. It’s Pesto!