Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Sauteed Greens

Wow, it's already Tuesday?  It feels like forever since I've posted (even though it was only Friday!)  I decided to take yesterday off because #1.  I had to work until 4 yesterday (woohoo for time and a half!) and #2.  We had a cookout with friends, and I just couldn't get away to post.   So I hope you'll forgive me!

How did you guys enjoy the long weekend?

To make up for it, I'll be doing a recipe post today (not normally a recipe post day, if you haven't noticed!). 

The beginning of the CSA season always means that greens are aplenty so I've got to come up with different ways to use them.  But honestly?  My favorite way of preparing greens is just simply sauteed with a little bit of olive oil and garlic.  It really lets the greens shine!


1 bunch kale
1 bunch rainbow chard
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

Wash the kale and chard well under cold water and drain.  Remove kale and chard from stems and slice the greens thinly.

In a large saute pan, heat olive oil under medium high heat.  Add garlic and saute for about 1 minute, or until fragrant.  Season with salt and pepper.

Add greens and saute until just wilted, about 2-3 minutes.  The color should still be a vibrant green.  Serve right away.

This is a quick and easy side dish that is sure to please!  And if you love greens, like we do, you definitely won't be disappointed!  See you guys tomorrow!

Friday, May 27, 2011

White Pizza

I used to live in Florida back when I was 19.  There was this amazing pizza joint down the road from our apartment, and for the life of me - I can't remember the name of it.  Anybody in Cocoa Beach?  It started with an A.  That's all I can remember.  But anyway, it was there that I experienced my first white pizza.  Different from the traditional tomato-based pie, a white pizza has a garlicky olive oil base and usually just simply topped with some ricotta (truly my favorite part) and mozzarella.  It's simple and heavenly. 

And so being a little nostalgic, and in the mood for pizza, I prepped myself a pizza dough this morning in hopes of having this beautiful pie for lunch.  It met every expectation. And while I didn't include any ricotta this time (I didn't have any in the fridge), I've got dough to spare, so I'll definitely be picking up some ricotta to make the "original" very soon!

So while the rest of America is ordering out, why don't you take a little bit extra time and make your own?  Seriously, only an hour and 45 minutes isn't half bad for a homemade pie.

Adapted from a Food Network recipe


1 & 1/4 cups warm water
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon honey
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup all purpose flour
3 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons salt


4 cloves of garlic, sliced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
3/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 cup olive oil
zucchini shavings (or any other topping you'd like)

To make the dough, combine the water, yeast, honey, and olive oil in a medium bowl.  When yeast is dissolved, add in all purpose flour and 2 cups of whole wheat flour.  Add in salt.  Mix until dough comes together and slowly add in remaining cup of wheat flour until a soft dough forms.  Knead dough on a floured surface for about 10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic.

Grease a medium bowl and add dough.  Cover with a warm kitchen towel and let rise for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, add 1/4 cup of olive oil, garlic, thyme, and red pepper flakes.  Simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes, making sure that garlic does not burn.  Set aside.

Preheat oven to 500 F.

Divide dough into 6 pieces and place dough on a cornmeal dusted baking sheet.  Cover with a warm towel and let rise for 10 minutes.  You can now either use all 6 pieces of dough immediately, or do what I did and make one pizza and freeze the rest of the dough.  I just placed the remaining dough in a freezer bag with a little bit of olive oil and it can keep in the freezer for up to a month.  (Some sites say more, but seriously, pizza dough never last too long in our house!)  When you're ready to use it again, just thaw out in the fridge for about 1 hour, or until you're able to knead it a little bit.

Stretch the dough ball into an 8 inch circle and place on cornmeal dusted baking sheet.  (I only made 1 pizza, but you could easily do two per baking sheet).

Brush each pizza with the garlic oil and season with salt and pepper.  Sprinkle pizzas with cheeses and drizzle a little bit more garlic oil over top.  Then top with zucchini shavings (just take a peeler and literally "shave" some zucchini)  Bake pizzas for about 10 to 15 minutes or until crusts are browned and crisp.

This was a perfect Friday (or any day) lunch!  And would be perfect for one of those stay-in Friday pizza nights!

Hope you guys have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

CSA Week #4

Hey guys!  It's CSA Thursday!  Lots of greenery this week, check it out:

Look at those gorgeous colors!
Aren't these little guys too cute??
  • Summer Squash & Zucchini Teaser (can't wait for the big hauls later on in the season!)
  • Green Onions
  • Head Lettuce
  • Basil
  • Chinese Cabbage (I sense a kimchi recipe in my near future!)
  • Mixed Salad Greens
  • Rainbow Chard
  • Radishes
Lots of goodies, obviously!

And Mindy from The World In My Kitchen sent me her 2nd week of her CSA!  Thanks for joining in again Mindy!

Looks like Mindy got some kale, beet greens, collard greens, spinach, mesclun, & cilantro!

 I'd love to see what you guys are getting in your CSAs, Farmer's Markets, or even your own garden!   

***If you guys received a CSA this week, what did you end up getting?  I'd love to have a weekly round-up of your CSA goodies (if you participate in one), or even if you made a weekly visit to your Farmer's market (or even just picked from your own garden!) - I'd love to see the local produce everyone gets!  So feel free to e-mail a snapshot of your goods (as well as your name and blog title (and don't worry if you don't have a blog, your name will be just fine!) as well as a link to your blog) at mtlabor85 (at) yahoo (dot) com and I'll post them in next Thursday's CSA post!  

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Grilled Naan

Yes, my basting brush is a man figure - and I love it.

I seem to like making naan bread.  It may not be the most authentic versions ever, but I manage to make it taste pretty darn good - and in the end, that's what matters right?

We got some green garlic in our CSA a couple weeks ago and it was really just sitting in the fridge waiting to be used.  I thought it would be a welcome addition to this naan.  Next time though, I may roll it in with the dough, instead of just using it as a topping in order to incorporate the flavor a bit more.

I love this grilled version because it provides a little bit more of a crispier naan, which I have no complaints about.  And hell... I just like using my grill, so why not?  Right?  Right.


2 & 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 cup warm water
2 & 1/2 to 3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons butter, melted plus more for brushing
2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
1 stalk of green garlic, sliced thinly

In a small bowl, combine yeast, sugar, and warm water.  Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, sift 2 & 1/2 cups of flour with salt.  Pour in melted butter, yogurt, and yeast mixture.  Mix well. If dough is too sticky, add remaining 1/2 cup of flour a little bit at a time, until you reach your desired texture.

Knead for about 15 minutes (yes, I got in my arm workout for the day with this one), or until dough is smooth and elastic.

Place dough in a clean and oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap and a warm towel.  Let rise for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.

Punch dough down and knead for about a minute.  Divide dough into 8 equal pieces and roll each one out into a circle/oval about 1/4 inch thickness.

Light a charcoal grill under medium high heat. 

Before placing on grill, brush each flatbread with melted butter and place on grill.  Brush top of bread with additional butter and top with green garlic.  Grill for about 2-3 minutes, or until dough is crisp on the bottom.  Be careful not to leave it on there too long because it will burn easily (trust me, I had a casualty or two, lol). 

I'm working on my food styling - comments/criticisms welcome!

We served this with some freshly made raita and Indian spiced salmon fillets (recipe soon to come, of course) and it was just a great dinner all around. 

So next time you're in the mood for some naan... bust out that grill and throw those dough pieces on there!

See you guys tomorrow for a CSA Week #4 update - we got some more great stuff!  And let me know if you want me to feature your CSA, as well - there's still time to e-mail me =)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Stop and smell the...

Can you believe Andy picked these out?  They really add some happiness to our front porch!

... pansies.

Sometimes life gets a little busy.  Most of the time when it's busy, it also ends up being quite stressful.

I've been so caught up in a whirl wind of wedding planning, life decisions, and work, that it's sometimes hard to just be able to take a deep breath and smell the flowers.

So I'm taking today to do just that.  One full day of (trying, anyway) being stress and care free.

Be back tomorrow with something delicious =)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Sausage & Radish Patties

Happy Monday guys!  How was everyone's weekend?  Ours was pretty laid back - we went to Andy's company picnic, which was interesting, but enjoyable.  My youngest sister also had a birthday, so we had to pay her a visit, as well.  Other than that, it was a lazy weekend just doing the bare minimum!

Do you ever get in one of those moods where you want more than one thing?  Say like, 3 or 4?  But can only pick one?  You know, like say... you want a burger.  Or some shrimp.  Or maybe some breakfast?  Yeah, I was in one of those moods this morning.  So after a good long staring session with some radishes in need of some love... I decided to go off the deep end and throw a bunch of stuff together.  The result?  Well, let's just say these may stay on my breakfast/brunch rotation for quite some time!


1 lb. radishes, grated
about 5 medium shrimp, cooked and chopped finely
1/2 cup ground sausage
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon flour
salt and pepper, to taste
1 egg
2 tablespoons olive oil
Hot Sauce, Ranch, & Dijon Mustard (optional)

In a medium bowl, combine radishes, shrimp, sausage, and cayenne pepper.  Mix in flour and season mixture with salt and pepper.  Add egg to combine everything together - it's okay if the mixture is a little wet.

Heat a large skillet under medium high heat and add olive oil.  Drop about 3 evenly sized patties (about the size of the palm of your hand) into the skillet and cook until sausage is cooked through, about 5 minutes per side.

Serve with desired sauce - I did a three-way of hot sauce (personal fave), ranch, and Dijon mustard.  All 3 were excellent!

And breakfast was served in less than 30 minutes!  I was a little worried of whether all of this would come together nicely, but it did.  They really just taste like some deluxe sausage patties, and would be perfect in between some slider buns too - another genius idea, maybe?  But really, they're pretty tasty and full of layers of flavor!

Have you guys ever just thrown complete random ingredients together to make something amazing? 

Friday, May 20, 2011

Derby Pie Fudge

Okay, I'm a couple weeks late with this, but seriously - is there really not a good time for fudge?  Don't lie.  I know you guys like some chocolate.

Now, I don't know if Kern's Derby Pie is available to people outside of Kentucky, but I know that it's available year-round to us, and we are quite fortunate.  Because really, this is the quintessential pie to have during the horse-racing season!  Now, if you don't have this readily available to you, don't fret.  A quick Google search produces tons of Derby pie recipes that you could use.

But if you Google search "Derby Pie Fudge", on the other hand - you're pickin's are slim!  Google has never heard of such a thing.  I told a co-worker this, and she immediately told me I needed to patent this.  Hehe, good idea, but really, I totally want to share this amazing goodness with all of you!  Trust me. The guests at the Derby party we brought this to were overjoyed with happiness once they saw this.  It wasn't like they were saying "hey, that fudge stuff is good"... they were saying things like "Oh my God, I don't even like fudge and I love this!"  No joke.

Oh, and don't forget to vote in this week's poll.  I'm feeling like something sweet once again...

So what are you waiting for?  Make this fudge pronto! (And if you're in the Louisville area on June 25th, I'll be selling this at a Great American Bake Sale site!  - I'll get you the info if you want it!).


2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups marshmallows
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 Derby Pie (I had to save a slice to eat, of course - but you could always use the whole pie), chopped

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and slowly add sugar.  Stir in evaporated milk and salt until sugar is dissolved.

Bring mixture to a boil and stir constantly for about 5 minutes, until mixture thickens.

Remove from heat and add marshmallows, milk chocolate, and semi-sweet chocolate chips.  Stir until chocolate and marshmallows are melted.

Stir in vanilla and chopped Derby Pie pieces.

Line a 1-inch tall pan (8x8) with parchment paper.  Pour in chocolate mixture and chill in the fridge until set, about 30 minutes.

Cut fudge into squares and try to stop yourself from eating the whole pan.  It's going to be really hard!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

CSA Week #3

This week's CSA was loaded with a bunch of goodies - the box was practically overflowing!  Let's see what we got...
  • Pac Choi
  • Strawberries
  • Head Lettuce
  • Mesclun Mix
  • Radishes
  • Green Onions
  • Arugula
  • Bibb Lettuce
  • Kale
  • Microgreens
See what I'm talking about?  TONS of stuff!

And look at these microgreens!  I let out a squeal of joy when I say these.  They're so cute and I can't wait to use them!

We even have another blogger's CSA to include this week too...

Mindy over at The World In My Kitchen (also a Kentucky blogger, woot woot!) received this bounty of goodies:

Spinach, Mesclun, Easter Egg Radishes, Hakauri Turnips, Parsley, Pak Choi
 Thanks Mindy for sending in your CSA pic!  And you guys be sure to check out Mindy's blog to see what she'll be doing with this batch of goodies!

I'd love to see what the rest of you are getting in your CSA's & Farmer's Markets, too! 

***If you guys received a CSA this week, what did you end up getting?  I'd love to have a weekly round-up of your CSA goodies (if you participate in one), or even if you made a weekly visit to your Farmer's market - I'd love to see the local produce everyone gets!  So feel free to e-mail a snapshot of your goods (as well as your name and blog title (and don't worry if you don't have a blog, your name will be just fine!) as well as link to your blog) at mtlabor85 (at) yahoo (dot) com and I'll post them in next Thursday's CSA post!   

And don't forget to check back tomorrow for a Derby Pie Fudge recipe!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Pretzel-Crusted Chicken Breasts

Happy Wednesday guys!  How's everyone's week going so far?  So far so good with us!

Picked up our CSA box this afternoon and it was LOADED with goodies!  Can't wait to share all of our goods with you tomorrow!

And on to today's recipe...

When I think of pretzels, I don't usually immediately think to use them as a coating/breading - although it's quite common these days!  But the salty snack is a great breading for chicken and fish!  This recipe proves it!


Adapted from Savour Fare's recipe

1 & 1/2 cups pretzel sticks
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup spicy brown mustard
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon water
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 & 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Tabasco, optional

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Place a rack over a baking sheet.

Place pretzels into a plastic bag and seal.  Run a rolling pin over the pretzels until they reach a desired consistency.  I liked them somewhat pulverized, but still with small chunks of pretzel still visible. 

Transfer crush pretzels to a shallow dish and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine spicy brown mustard, Dijon mustard, water, and vinegar.  Whisk to combine.  Slowly whisk in the olive oil until fully incorporated and homogenous.  Add in cayenne pepper and season with salt, if needed.

Dip chicken breasts in mustard mixture and coat well.  Then dip in dish with pretzels and coat well.  Place chicken breasts on top of rack on baking sheet. 

Bake chicken until cooked through, about 30-40 minutes, depending on the size of your chicken breasts (ours were quite large).  Slice and serve with some buttered pasta and Tabasco sauce (couldn't resist the added heat!).

This was such a quick and easy weeknight meal, I'm really thinking about keeping it in my rotation for a while!  I loved the added crunch of the pretzels and the mustardy/Tabasco kick!  Loved it - and I hope if you try this, that you will too!

Have a great Wednesday guys and hope you're back tomorrow to see our CSA goodies!  And Friday, I'll be posting the Derby Pie fudge recipe, so you know you can't miss that!  I'm off to play some volleyball (we've just got to do better than last week's 0-3 showing!)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Say (Lil) Cheeze(rs)!

Pickin' out which grilled cheese to get is a hard decision!
Like I discussed in yesterday's post, I just had continue to spread the word about the Gourmet Grilled Cheese food truck to hit Louisville by storm - Lil Cheezers

The S'more - chocolate, marshmallow, and graham cracker crumbs between two slices of bread = heaven!

The Brunchfaster - sliced maple glazed ham, fried egg, and the cheese of your choice (I think Andy went simple and chose American, but they 9 cheeses to choose from!)
They've been around for a little bit now, but this past weekend was the first time I got to try their deliciousness - and I'm tellin' you, it won't be the last! 

So if you're in the Louisville area, I'd suggest finding out where Lil Cheezers will be and getting your butt to them pronto!

Monday, May 16, 2011

"Asian" Noodle Bowl

Happy Monday guys!  How was everyone's weekend?  Ours wasn't too bad.

With food trucks popping up all over the west and east coast, it's kind of hard not to be aware of them.  But when you live in the Midwest, things are a little bit different.  Louisville is a Commonwealth so it's really hard to change certain regulations - one of them being the allowance of street vendors in most urban areas. 

However, they are actually becoming present here.  One in particular, L'il Cheezers Gourmet Grilled Cheese, has taken Louisville by storm.  We actually got to visit them Saturday night and were very impressed with what we got!  (I'll post pictures tomorrow!) 

But while waiting in line, I, of course, had to take pictures of the truck and such, and ended up including some random guy in one of them.  He came up to us and was like "Hey, sorry for ruining your picture."  And I was like, "no worries, just as long as you're okay with being on my blog".  And so one thing led to another, and as others heard that this girl (me) had a "food blog", I was then passing out my cards left and right.  It was my first experience just letting my blog be known to strangers.  It was exhilarating. 

What am I getting at here?  Well, when I first started my blog, I didn't want to talk about it with anything.  Not that I was "embarrassed" about it, but that it was just my personal outlet, I guess.  Public speaking has never been my forte, and I've been known to get real nervous talking it up in front of a crowd, but this weekend, it was different.  These people showed genuine interest, and hell, if I can get at least one of them to visit or be interested, I'd be happy. 

How about you guys?  Do you openly talk about your blogs?  Did you take a while to be comfortable about it?  Or am I just crazy?

Anyway, I was a little under the weather last week, and wanted something a little different from the normal chicken soup to cure me.  So I gathered what I had laying around and came up with this Asian Noodle Bowl.  It's quite flexibile, and you don't really need to use the ingredients that I've got listed (although it was a great combination!).  Just use what you have on hand and you're bound to discover something wonderful.  And honestly, I think it did help me feel better, too!

Adapted from The Cilantropist's recipe
Serves 2

2 pork chops
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 oz. Asian egg noodles
1 cup pac choi (same as bok choy)
4 cups chicken stock
1 piece dried Kombu 
Sriracha, (optional)
Red pepper flakes, (optional)
bamboo shoots, drained (optional)

Preheat oven to 300F.

Season chops with salt and pepper.

In a large, oven-proof skillet, heat olive oil under medium high heat.  Brown pork chops on both sides, about 3 minutes per side.

Place skillet in oven and bake chops for about 25-30 minutes, or until cooked through.  Allow to rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

In a large saucepan, bring chicken stock to a boil and add kombu.  Simmer for about 15 minutes.  Add pac choi and blanch for about a minute or two, or until the leaves turn bright green.  Remove pac choi with a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate, and set aside. 

Add egg noodles to stock and cook according to package directions until tender.  Mine were "quick" noodles, so it took maybe about 2-3 minutes.  Remove noodles with slotted spoon and set aside in a bowl.

Ladle some stock into a soup bowl and add noodles, pac choi, and bamboo shoots.  Top with sliced pieces of pork chop.  Add red pepper flakes and sriracha, if desired.  Serve while still hot.

This was pretty simple and easy!  And like I said, you could practically use any protein, vegetables, noodle, stock combo you'd like.  This is just what I had on hand and it worked out perfectly!  It was super tasty and definitely helped clear my head of a little bit of illness!

Hope you guys have a great Monday and be back tomorrow!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Springtime Salsa

Hey guys!  Happy Friday to ya!  Am I ever happy for this week to be over with!  It's just been quite hellish, to tell you the truth.  And after my shift tomorrow morning, I'll have Sunday and Monday off, so I'm definitely looking forward to some rest!

On a side note - sorry if any of you tried to visit the blog the past day or so - Blogger was apparently working out some kinks and removed Wednesday's & Thursday's post amidst all the craziness!  They're back now though, so all is (seemingly) back to normal!

Anyway, no big plans for the weekend - just relaxing!  How about you guys?

I know I'll be finishing off this salsa, because it was super delicious!  Next time, I'll probably make my own tortilla chips, though - has anyone noticed that store-bought tortilla chips just keep getting saltier and saltier?  I felt like I was eating a salt lick by eating the ones pictures with the salsa! 


28 oz. can whole tomatoes, with juice 
1-2 jalapeno peppers (depending on how spicy you want it! - I only removed half of the seeds, I live on the edge!)
1/2 small onion
small handful cilantro
salt and pepper, to taste

In the bowl of a food processor, combine tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, onion, and cilantro.  Puree until smooth (or keep it chunky - it's your salsa, get it to your liking!).  Season with salt and pepper, to taste. 

Bam!  You've got yourself salsa in about 10 minutes.  Seriously, I'll be eating salsa with everything now that the weather is warm and sunny!  It's just one of those "sunshine" foods, don't you think?  And of course, you could always use fresh tomatoes - but it's still a little too early for my garden beauties, and I just had a can in the pantry, so I said why not?

What's your favorite way to make salsa?

Anyway, sorry for the short and simple posts this week!  I'm still working on getting the congestion out of my head from being sick and it's just easier to do simple things right now!  So I promise I'll be back Monday with some awesome stuff (esp. Derby Pie Fudge!!)

Have a great weekend guys!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

CSA Week #2

It's Thursday!  You know what time it is!  CSA time!

Yesterday was full of more greenery and you could really tell a difference with all of the sunshine!  Our boxes were full and vibrant!  Let's see what we ended up with...
  • Pac Choi - which is just another way of saying Bok Choy or Chinese Cabbage
  • Braising Greens
  • More Strawberries
  • Green Garlic
  • Head Lettuce
  • Radishes
  • Mixed Salad Greens
Now let's talk about this green garlic.  When I first saw it, I thought "oh leeks!".  But upon further investigation, it was actually green garlic.  What on Earth is green garlic, you ask?

Well it is basically the young, immature garlic that has yet to form any bulb or cloves.  The whole plant can be used, from the white parts, to the lighter green, to even the dark leaves.  Our CSA newsletter said that it's great when used in soup stocks.

Having never used green garlic before, I'm excited to experience it's flavor!  Anybody have experience with this?  Let me know how I should use it!

And I know this is still kind of early in the season, but I'd love to know what you guys are getting from your CSAs and Farmer's Markets right now!  Send me a picture or a link to your blog and I'll post it next week - details below!

***If you guys received a CSA this week, what did you end up getting?  I'd love to have a weekly round-up of your CSA goodies (if you participate in one), or even if you made a weekly visit to your Farmer's market - I'd love to see the local produce everyone gets!  So feel free to e-mail a snapshot of your goods (as well as your name and blog title (and don't worry if you don't have a blog, your name will be just fine!) as well as link to your blog) at mtlabor85 (at) yahoo (dot) com and I'll post them in next Thursday's CSA post!