Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Everything goes better with carmelized onions

Originally uploaded by mickeynick.
Succotash is an underrated summer delight. Barb gave us more yellow squash and green beans last weekend, and I decided to saute it all up into a succotash for dinner tonight. Nick wandered through the kitchen as I was cooking the onions; "Mmmm, it smells good, Mom," he exclaimed.

Summer succotash

1 yellow onion, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, sliced
2 yellow squash, cubed
1/2 lb. green beans, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
3 ears corn
2 tablespoons butter
salt and pepper

Cut the corn kernels off of the cobs and place in a large bowl with the cubed squash and the green beans. In a large saute pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring regularly, for 8-10 minutes until the onion begins to brown. Add the sliced garlic and cook and for a minute or so until it becomes fragrant. Add the squash, beans, and corn, and cook, stirring regularly for another 6-8 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Turn off the heat and stir in the butter. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve.

Monday, August 15, 2005


Originally uploaded by mickeynick.
My friend Farzad taught me this wonderful way to prepare eggplant. Serve it as an appetizer with some kalamata olives, cut up wedges of pita bread, and a big block of feta cheese.

Yummy Eggplant Dip

1 medium eggplant
3 cloves garlic, chopped
bunch basil or parsley, chopped
olive oil
balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper

Rub the eggplant with a light coating of olive oilk and poke it several times with a fork. Roast over a slow fire until the skin is blackened and the flesh is soft. Remove from the fire and cool. Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise and scoop the flesh out onto a cutting board. Chop the flesh into a fine dice. In a small mixing bowl, mix the eggplant, garlic, about 2-3 tablespoons olive oil, chopped basil or parsley, a splash of balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve with pita wedges.

Thursday, August 11, 2005


I made use of the summer fruit in the market here to cook up some jam. Don't know why I don't can more often; it's pretty simple, although it heats my country kitchen up.

Rhubarb-Raspberry-Strawberry Jam

2 cups rhubarb, diced
2 cups raspberries
2 cups strawberries, diced
juice of 2 lemons
2 boxes pectin
8 cups sugar

In a large saucepan, bring the rhubarb, raspberries, and strawberries to a boil and cook them down for 8-10 minutes. The fruit should give off quite a bit of liquid. Take off the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, heat a bath of canning water to boil and wash out 8-10 half pint glass canning jars. Boil the jars and rings in the canning water, and set aside to dry on a clean towel on the countertop.

Add the lemon juice and pectin to the fruit and bring it fruit back up to a rolling boil. Add the sugar, and boil the mixture for a minute or so, until the sugar is melted and the jam begins to congeal. Remove from the heat and fill the prepared jars to 1/4 inch of their tops. Lid the jars and screw the rings on finger-tight. Process the jars in the canning water for 15 minutes. Remove carefully to a clean countertop on the counterop. Check to see that the lids are well sealed; if the lid buckles to the touch, refrigerate the jam and use within a month. Sealed jam will keep for six months to a year in a cool dark place.

Great greens

Originally uploaded by mickeynick.
Barb also left us with some lovely greens from her garden. I've never seen yellow-stemmed swiss chard before. I cooked it as a side dish for dinner last night. Nick lapped his up, inquiring, "Why do people think that kids don't like spinach?"

Yummy Greens

2 bunches swiss chard
1 onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil

Wash the swiss chard and spin it dry in a salad spinner. Using a paring knife, score down about 2/3rds of the stem on each leaf; gently pull on the stem to break it from the leaf. Discard stems. Roughly chop or tear the chard. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Saute the onions until they begin to brown. Add the garlic and stir for a minute until it become fragrant. Add a handful of swiss chard. Cook down until it begins to wilt; continue adding handfuls and wilting it down until you run out. Turn the chard with a pair of tongs while cooking. The chard is done when all of the leaves have wilted and begin to give off a scant amount of liquid. Salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Impromptu Summer Garden Pasta

Originally uploaded by mickeynick.

two garden-ripe red tomatoes
two garden-ripe yellow tomatoes
two yellow zucchini, sliced lengthwise and grilled
lemon thyme, roughly chopped
smoked sausage, grilled
1 lb. cavateppi, al dente
olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste

Toss to combine. Garnish with crumbled feta cheese.

Bounty from Barb's Garden

Originally uploaded by mickeynick.
Barb shared some of the bounty from her garden this weekend. Here are some red and yellow tomatoes and yellow squash ready to prepare for dinner.

Friday, August 05, 2005


Eating is a physical need, a sensual experience, and a cultural activity. As a mom and a foodie, it is my responsibility to ensure that my children learn to enjoy preparing and eating good food. The time we spend together at the table not only ensures our physical well-being, but enhances our spiritual connection to one another.