The Yummy Side of Life…

Asian Lettuce Wraps
September 2, 2009, 7:37 pm
Filed under: Appetizers, Dinner, Pork, Vegetables | Tags: , , , , ,

I love love love Asian food! A while back, I saw this lettuce wrap recipe from Apples and Oranges and starred it in my GoogleReader, but I never got around to making it. I was looking for something that I could make with ground pork this week, and when I saw this sitting there–all but forgotten–I decided it was time to give it a try. The only changes I made were that I used ground pork and ground ginger, only because I forgot to get fresh ginger at the store. I also added some shredded carrot to the top for color and crunch.

I actually had some chicken fried rice in the freezer, but this made SO much, that we just ate the lettuce wraps by themselves and still had some meat mixture leftover. I ended up sticking the leftovers in the freezer for a quick and easy meal one night in the future.



Farmers’ Market Finds
August 30, 2009, 11:41 am
Filed under: Vegetables

I finally got out to the farmers’ market yesterday. With almost every kind of produce in season this time of year, I wanted to take advantage of it, but my budget only allows so much… Here’s a couple photos of my small, yet (hopefully) tasty bounty!


I got some unsprayed lettuce (better wash it so I don’t ingest any *friends*!), zucchini, white corn, and flowers. I also got a pint of blackberries and two challah rolls, but I ate the challah rolls for a snack yesterday before I took a photo. Whoops! I got all of this for $20.00.

Hopefully next Saturday morning, I’ll get back out there and find some other treasures! I leave you with a photo of my beautiful flowers I picked up for $5 (with vase!)…


Classic Tomato and Basil Sauce
August 9, 2009, 6:06 pm
Filed under: Dinner, Vegetables | Tags: , , ,
Oooo... Pretty! Wonder what's in there!

Oooo... Pretty! Wonder what's in there!

Mmmm… I’ve been looking for a relatively easy tomato sauce to use when P makes spaghetti. We have, up until now, been using whatever jarred sauce strikes our fancy. But we always make meatsauce, so I was looking for a recipe that would be good with some ground beef mixed in. At work, I forgot that we had some Le Creuset pamphlets with recipes on them. And of course, they have one for Classic Tomato and Basil Sauce. It’s to be made in their 3.5 quart round oven, but quite honestly after making it, I’m not sure how it even fits in the 3.5 quart. I used my 5.5 quart and the sauce filled more than half of the pot.

I inherited quite a bit of Le Creuset’s original Flame pots and pans from my grandma. According to my mom, that is what my grandpa gave her for special occasions instead of jewelry. Well–thank you, Grandpa 🙂 I’ll have you know it’s being put to good use on occasion, and I will say this tomato sauce was a perfect occasion to break out the inherited dutch oven.

Bubbling away...

Bubbling away...

Classic Tomato and Basil Sauce from Le Creuset (my revisions in red)

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped finely
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped finely (I used three)
  • 1 carrot, grated coarsely (I only have a fine grater)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, crushed (I used three)
  • 2 pounds canned plum tomatoes, chopped with their juices (I just used two large cans and ended up spilling some… It probably evened out to 2 pounds)
  • A large handful of fresh basil leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • A pat of butter, to finish
  1. Heat the oil in the Round Oven over a medium heat on the stovetop. Add the onion, celery, and carrot and cook very gently for 4 to 5 minutes without letting the ingredients brown. Add the garlic and fry for 1 minute longer (forgot to do this, so I just added it in when I added the tomatoes).
  2. Add the tomatoes, roughly torn basil leaves, and plenty of seasoning. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 to 40 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
  3. Uncover the pan, increase the heat, and boil gently for 5 to 10 minutes to thicken.
  4. Use the sauce as it is in the “chunky” consistency, or purée in a food processor (I puréed half of it and then added it back to the other chunkier half). Whichever texture you choose, stire the butter into the sauce just before serving: it rounds off the flavors and makes the sauce smoother.


I did not add the butter yet. I’m planning using half of this tomorrow night (it’s my late night and therefore, P’s turn to start dinner) and freezing the other half for future use. I’ll just add the butter when reheating the sauce. I think it’ll be fine. We taste tested the sauce earlier and I must say–the freshness is sooo goood and would beat a jarred sauce any day. Yeah, I’m converted 🙂

Okay, I might just be showing off my beautiful countertops :-p

Okay, I might just be showing off my beautiful countertops :-p

Summer Vegetable Salad
June 22, 2008, 7:47 pm
Filed under: Dinner, Vegetables | Tags: , , , , ,

Summer Salad

(inspired by a salad I came across on

  • 2 tomatoes, seeded and roughly chopped into large pieces
  • 1 orange bell pepper, seeded, ribbed and chopped
  • 1 yellow squash, halved, seeded, and sliced
  • 1 zucchini, halved and sliced
  • 3-4 green onions, chopped
  • 2 handfuls precut carrots
  • 1/2 cup ranch dressing
  • S&P to taste

Mix all vegetables together with dressing. Chill for one hour before serving.

We had this for supper tonight. Phil has been wanting me to make a salad that one of his bosses served at her 4th of July party last year. One problem: I didn’t like it all that much. So, I started searching and came across a recipe I kinda thought would be a good substitute. A few change, and voila! We have success 🙂 Next time, I think I’ll take out the squash/zucchini and substitute cucumber in its place. The green onions are great in it. They add some onion flavor, but are not sooooo overpowering! I also think it would be good with italian dressing and some feta mixed in, so we might try that next time…

Will take photos for food…
May 26, 2008, 11:35 pm
Filed under: Sides, Vegetables | Tags:

and I’ll take them of food too 🙂

Yummy Green Beans with Cherry Tomatoes… The tomatoes were sauteed in an herbed butter sauce–Green beans were boiled until tender, then the tomatoes and butter sauce were poured over the green beans.

Even thoug h I haven’t been blogging as much as I used to, we still have yummy dinners every now and again! This particular night we had lemon-pepper chicken with a side salad (topped with balsamic vinaigrette and parmesan). On the side is a French roll (which I did NOT make myself LOL).

What a yummy meal this was! America’s Test Kitchen Pasta Caprese… Marinade some tomatoes in olive oil, basil, garlic, salt and pepper, toss with fresh mozzarella and penne rigate. Instant (and VERY quick) meal!

And last, but certainly not least, a photo from the store I work at (I took it for the website we are about to get up and running)… Stonewall Kitchen products are awesome!

Tomato-Mozzarella Salad
July 9, 2007, 9:18 pm
Filed under: Sides, Vegetables | Tags: , ,

Tomato-Mozzarella Salad

2 plum tomatoes
4 oz. part skim mozzarella, cubed
2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp. dried basil, crushed
black pepper and salt to taste

1. Halve the tomatoes down the length of the the fruits. Mix together with mozzarella in medium-sized bowl.
2. Drizzle EVOO on mixture.
3. Sprinkle basil, pepper, and salt on top.
4. Toss with hands until mixture is well coated with oil and spices.

Serves 2.

I found the original recipe for this on However, I REALLY like basil, and it called for 3 leaves, not crushed (per serving). Eh… not enough for my taste. 1 tsp. per serving of salad really added the extra oomph that the salad needed for me (not to mention a tad of salt, which the original recipe didn’t have.