Friday, May 30, 2014

Garden Vegetable Pasta for #ChooseDreams #WeekdaySupper

Happy Friday!!!  I am so excited to participate in #WeekdaySupper;  the theme for this entire month are easy recipes from the garden.  Perfect timing as this is the time of year when the first vegetables crops are ready for harvest in the garden,  CSA's {Community Supported Agriculture} deliver vegetable shares, and local vegetables are in abundance at local market's.  To me,  nothing compares to eating homegrown vegetables or at least locally grown vegetables; it is almost magical. 

Here in Portland many of our neighbors grow vegetables in raised beds right in their front yard. 

Yes, almost everybody is growing vegetables and our children learn how to grow gardening in their school's learning garden.  

Let me tell you it is contagious.  What do you think?  Start with growing some herbs; get a couple of different plants at your local nursery, plant them in a pretty pot and set them  either right outside the kitchen, or in a sunny windowsill.  Just remember to water and you are all set to add some fresh, homegrown flavor to just about any meal.  Toss the herbs with salad, add it to pasta, add it to a pita, sandwich, eggs…the options are endless and delicious.  Believe me,  soon you will want to start growing all kinds of herbs and vegetables…

The #WeekdaySupper Recipes from the Garden theme is sponsored by American Family Insurance.  American Family Insurance encourages us to follow our dreams,   #ChooseDreams and thrive. Healthy food choices combined with an active life style can help us reach our dreams.   Fin inspiration  for Recipes from the Garden on the #ChooseDreams Pinterest Board, or connect with American Family Insurance on FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+,YouTube, or LinkedIn.

Now let me tell you about this quick, delicious, and easy #WeekdaySupper dish that your entire family will love.  It is an easy dish packed with fresh vegetables and dinner will be on your table within 30 minutes.  This is all you need...

Garden Vegetable Pasta
  • 1 pack of your  favorite pasta {I like Fusilli} - reserve 1/4 C cooking water
  • 1 leek cleaned, cut into rings using white and green parts
  • 1 bunch of green asparagus, cleaned and cut into bite size pieces
  • 3/4 lb. bulk sage sausage
  • 1/4 C dry white wine
  • 1/4 C pasta cooking water reserved from pasta
  • 2 Tb or more Italian parsley
  • 1 C Parmigiano Reggiano
  • Salt & pepper to taste

  1. Cook pasta according to directions
  2. While pasta is cooking brown sausage in a cast iron pan until crumbly
  3. Add leek together with asparagus to the sausage and sauté for a couple of minutes
  4. Add white wine, cover and sauté for another couple of minutes until vegetables have cooked
  5. Drain pasta - reserve 1/4 C of the cooking water
  6. Stir 1/4 C of cooking water to the vegetable, sausage mixture   
  7. Add parsley together with salt and pepper to taste
  8. Add cooked pasta to the pan and mix pasta with the vegetables until well combined
  9. Add Parmigiano Reggiano and adjust salt/pepper to taste
Serve with a side salad!
Sunday Supper MovementServe this all summer long and change the vegetables as they grow in your garden.  The perfect  #WeekdaySupper dish.

Inspired by American Family Insurance, the Sunday Supper team is bringing you garden fresh recipes all month long. Take a look at all of this week's amazing #WeekdaySupper recipes 

Monday – Strawberry Basil Goat Cheese Flatbread Salad by Family Foodie

Tuesday – Potato Corn Chowder by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
Wednesday – Huevos Rancheros by Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen
Thursday – Veggie Quesadillas by The Foodie Army Wife 
Friday – Garden Vegetable Pasta by The Not So Cheesy Kitchen

This post is sponsored by American Family Insurance. All opinions are my own.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Garden Focaccia for #SundaySupper #ChooseDreams

This post is sponsored by American Family Insurance. All opinions are my own

Happy Sunday!!! Today's #SundaySupper event is sponsored by American Family Insurance and I am very excited to be one of their Brand Advocates for this event.  American Family Insurance is a champion of dreams and aims to inspire all of us to pursue our dreams. Learn more about the #ChooseDreams campaign  by following this hashtag and American Family Insurance on Twitter, YouTube, Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook and Pinterest.  Is one one of your pursuits to eat more garden fresh vegetables?  You have come to the right place as this week's #SundaySupper theme is Recipes from the Garden.  It is a theme that just in time for the start of planting vegetables for a new growing season and something certainly many of us dream off.

Do you grow your own vegetables?   Do you start them early from seeds, or do you buy seedlings?  Every year I plan to start seedlings, but just like that it never happens.  We plant a few seeds and buy tomato, cucumber, and {for the first time this year} green bean seedlings. I love going to the nursery to pick them out;  there is something magical about picking out the plants and thinking of the food they will reward us with later in the summer.  We cross our fingers that we will be able to keep up with their watering needs and yes, we do live in Oregon but many of you may not know that it does not rain here at the entire year.  Yes, our glorious, dry summers are a well kept secret :)

Don't let a lack of space keep you from growing your own vegetables. We live in the city and do not have a lot of space for a vegetable garden, I therefore plant most of our vegetables in pots.  The beans grow in a large planter are by our front door, and the girls love to pick them as they grow. The tomatoes grow in pots and we usually keep them in the side yard but they can be easily moved to get more sun if needed.   The cucumber grows yet in another pot…small space gardening :)

The girls planted the peas from seed - as every year - at the south side of our house; I am happy to say that both of our girls like to garden.   They learn about gardening as part of the curriculum at their school includes time in the school garden;  each class has their own garden box, they grow herbs, vegetables and get to eat the harvest.

Growing your own vegetables is only half the fun.  The second best part is eating them, and I for one am always on the look-out for more Recipes from the Garden. What about you?  Now don't you worry just follow the #ChooseDreams Pinterest board for lot's of inspiration...

Are you ready for a Garden Focaccia?  This recipe is very versatile and you can modify it according to the vegetables in season.  Today I have added some fresh asparagus, a yellow potato, onion, and garlic.;  I added rosemary from our garden to the dough.

Garden Focaccia

Dough - slightly adapted from Tylor Florence as published on Food Network 
  • 3-3/4 C flour
  • 1 Tb fresh rosemary coarsely chopped {or more if you like}
  • 2-1/4 tsp yeast
  • 2 Tb sugar
  • 1 C warm water {not hot}
  • 1 Tb salt + 2 Tb warm water {not hot}
  • 1/4 Olive Oil
  • 1/4 C medium grind Cornmeal {for rolling out the dough}
  1. Combine yeast with water and sugar.  Stir gently - after a couple of minutes
  2. Slowly add flour along with rosemary {you can either use your hands - like me; or use the kneading hook of your kitchen machine} then
  3. Dissolve salt in water and add to flour/yeast mixture along with the olive oil
  4. Knead until a smooth elastic dough forms {when kneading by hand I like to "beat" the dough down, fold on each other and knead some more - this is a good workout :)}
  5. When the dough is nice and smooth place it in a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise at a warm spot.
  6. Dough is ready when it has doubled in size.
  7. About 30 minutes before you are ready to bake line a deeper cookie sheet with parchment paper as well as a tiny bit of olive oil
  8. Roll out your dough the size of the cookie sheet, place it on the prepared cookie sheet, cover again with plastic wrap and let rise until ready to assemble {step 3 below}

Topping - Assembly
  • 1/8 - 1/4 C Olive Oil + 1 Tb 
  •    5 garlic cloves, coarsely chooped
  •    6 slices of bacon diced {optional}
  •    1 medium yellow potato, peeled and cut into thin slices
  •    1 bunch green asparagus, cleaned and cut into bite size pieces
  •    1 medium yellow onion, sliced
  •    Salt & Pepper to taste
*** Preheat oven to 400 F ***
  1. Brush rolled out dough with 1/8 - 1/4 C olive oil {lesser amount if using bacon}
  2. Press garlic into the dough
  3. If using, spread bacon pieces on the dough
  4. Place potato slices, asparagus pieces and onion slices into a large bowl.  Toss with 1 Tb olive oil, season with salt and pepper
  5. Spread oiled potato, asparagus, and onions onto the dough
  6. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes
Serve with a large salad!

are ready for more delicious Recipes from the Garden - be sure to check them all out.

  • 3 Cheese Naan Pizza with Sausage, Mushrooms, and Arugula by Neighborfood
  • Asparagus Penne with Bacon Cream Sauce by Country Girl In The Village
  • Basil, Honey and Walnut Gelato by The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
  • Chimichurri Skirt Steak by Magnolia Days
  • Garden Foccacia by The Not So Cheesy Kitchen
  • Greek Stuffed Tomato by Yours And Mine Are Ours
  • Grilled Shrimp with Grilled Sweet Peppers by Daily Dish Recipes
  • Herbed Chicken Kabobs by Momma's Meals
  • Individual Indian Corn Pudding Souffles by Delaware Girl Eats
  • Lemon Herb Slow Cooker Roast Chicken by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
  • Quinoa Tabbouleh by Supper for a Steal
  • Rosemary and Lemon Chicken Thighs with Asparagus by Bobbi's Kozy Kitchen
  • Rosemary Cornbread by Alida's Kitchen
  • Salmon Peppers and Onions by Family Foodie
  • Spinach Pasta with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce by Cindy's Recipes and Writings
  • Strawberry Basil Pasta Salad by Peanut Butter and Peppers
  • Summer Pasta Puttanesca by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
  • Summer Vegetable Lasagna by Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks
  • Tortellini with Garden Fresh Pesto by The Foodie Army Wife
  • White Bean Cilantro Chopped Vegetable Salad by Shockingly Delicious

  • Sunday Supper Movement Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy! You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

    Sunday, May 18, 2014

    Potato Cucumber Salad {Kartoffel-Gurken Salat} for #SundaySupper with Idaho® Potatoes

    Happy Sunday and welcome to a special #SundaySupper where we share twenty different versions of potato salad featuring delicious Idaho® potatoes. Oh yes, twenty as in 20 different recipes for potato salad perfect for all of the BBQ parties coming up this summer, right?! One very important thing to remember when bringing potato salad to a party is food safety; the Idaho Potato Commission has a lot of great safety tips just click on this link including tips such as using store bought pasteurized mayonnaise, leaving eggs out, etc. Be sure to check out those important safety tips. 

    Let me tell you I am just a wee bit excited about today's event.  Yes, because not only do I love potatoes but everyone in my house does.  We love potatoes in just about any shapes and form; baked, mashed, fried, cooked…you get the picture, right?!  How about you?  Do you love potatoes just as much as we do?  Be sure to check out the potato recipe contest by our friends at the Idaho Potato Commission  amazing prizes await including tickets to the 2014 Food and Wine Conference.  Don't forget to check out the Idaho Potato Commission on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest  

    At my house no party is complete without potato salad.  There are so many choices when it comes to potato salad and German potato salad.  Our favorite potato salad is not just German but Swabian i.e. Southern German style potato salad.  The Swabian potato salad  never contains mayonnaise but instead broth, oil, and vinegar. It is perfect any time of year and adding cucumber to it makes it even more delicate as well as refreshing.

    Yellow Idaho® potatoes work best for my Potato Cucumber Salad and be sure that you have plenty of time before planning to serve it. 

    Potato Cucumber Salad
    • 3-1/2 lb yellow Idaho® potatoes 
    • 2 C of your favorite broth
    • 1 C diced onion
    • 2 Tb Canola oil
    • 3 Tb red wine vinegar
    • 1 Tb kosher salt
    • 2 tsp fresh ground pepper
    • 1 Tb Dijon ustard
    • 1/2 C firmly packed minced parsley
    • 1 cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced.

    1. Cook potatoes in jackets until soft.
    2. Drain potatoes and let them cool off.  Peel potatoes when they are cool enough to handle but still warm and slice them thinly.  Place sliced potatoes in a large salad bowl.
    3. Gently heat broth together with the onions in a sauce pan.  
    4. Pour warm broth together with onions over the potatoes.
    5. In a small bowl whisk canola oil with vinegar, salt, pepper, and dijon.  Pour over the potatoes.
    6. Mix potatoes with the broth and vinaigrette.  Cover salad bowl with a plate, or some foil. Let potato salad rest at room temperature for at least 2 hours or until most of the liquid is soaked up by the potatoes.
    7. Adjust salt, pepper, and vinegar to taste.
    8. Add minced parsley as well as cucumber slices.  Let rest for at least another hour
    Sunday Supper MovementNow are you ready to check out all of the Idaho® potatoes salad creations...
        Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy! You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by the Idaho Potato Commission. All opinions are my own. 

      Sunday, May 11, 2014

      Spears in a Blanket for #SundaySupper #MothersDay

      Happy Mother's Day to all you mothers out there.  What are your plans for today?  Is this day special, or just like any other regular Sunday?  At our house Ron and the girls have always turned into a special day for me.  Ron makes breakfast, and dinner while the girls are on extra good behavior.  It is very sweet and today the #SundaySupper team is celebrating Mother's Day with everyone around our virtual table.  Let me give a big shout-out to Liz over at That Skinny Chick can bake today's fantastic host; we bring you breakfast, appetizer, soups, sides, main dishes, plus many dessert options which all sure are to please.

      Today I bring Spears in a Blanket oh, I can hear you ask "what is it?" Well, let me lift the secret…these are delicious asparagus spears, topped with Gruyer, rolled and baked in savory pancakes.  Oh, yes they are absolutely delicious; add a large bowl of salad and it's a main meal, serve it along side some grilled meat and its a delicious side, or serve it for brunch. It is easy and delicious.

      Spears in a Blanket
      • 3 Eggs
      • 2-1/8 C Almond Milk {or other milk}
      • 2-1/4 C flour 
      • pinch salt
      • 1/8 tsp baking powder
      • 1/3 C finely minced parsley
      • canola oil for baking of pancakes
      • 1 lb. green asparagus, cleaned
      • 2-1/2 C shredded Gruyer
      *** preheat oven to 350F *** 
      1. Combine eggs with milk, flour, baking powder, salt and mix well until a smooth dough forms.  Be sure to work out any lumps, now mix in the minced parsley.
      2. Heat canola oil in your favorite frying pan and pour about 1/4 C of the pancake dough into the pan. Spread the dough over the entire pan.  Fry for a couple minutes; after a couple of minutes using a spatula flip pancake once it lifts easy of the bottom of the pan.  Bake from the other side until it is cooked through and pancakes are golden.  Set aside.  
      3. Repeat step 2 until you have used up all of the pancake dough.  You will need to add more oil as needed.
      4. Blanch asparagus by cooking in for about 2 minutes in boiling water, and then placing it in ice cold water.
      5. Gently grease a large square baking dish.
      6. Put one baked pancake onto your work space, and place about 3-5 blanched asparagus spears {depending on their size} onto of them.  Sprinkle with cheese, and roll the asparagus/cheese filled pancakes up into a roll.  Place into the prepared baking dish.  Repeat until you have used up all of the pancakes and asparagus. Top the pancakes with the remaining cheese.
      7. Bake for about 20 minutes until the cheese has melted and Spears in Blanket are hot.
      8. Serve as a main dish with a large salad, or a side dish
      Sunday Supper MovementNow be sure to check out what everyone else is brining to the #SundaySupper table today.

      Mother's Day Breakfast:
      Mother's Day Appetizers, Soups and Salads:
      Mother's Day Main Dishes:
      Mother's Day Desserts:
      Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy! You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

      Thursday, May 8, 2014

      It is May...

      yes, it is true and next thing we know school is out for the summer.  I say it all the time but where does the time go?  It obviously passes by so quickly as I can find more grey hairs on my head, and both girls keep on growing.  To me it is a little like a double edged sword - I love seeing them grow, getting more mature and independent but somewhat on the other side I want them to stay innocent children for as long as possible.  Don't get me wrong…I think {or at least hope}it must be a dilemma many parents face.

      All of us have been super busy these last few weeks.  Mia Rose participated in the Talent Show at school dancing with two of her friends to Roar…oh yes,  this Mama is quite proud

      Alena on the other hand has been enjoying Girls Inc. and was so inspired that she set up shop in front of our house to sell her handmade Rainbow loom bracelets.  She sold quite a few and no, not just to our friends :)  I watched everything from the inside, as I - bad me - caught myself starting to micro manage her little store…

      The parental units have been busy with work; and now I almost forgot - yesterday was the day that both ladies finally got ear rings.  They had talked about it for so long, asked and they just caught Ron at the right time when he promised them "yes, Wednesday after work we will get your ears pierced".  Lucky girls - their Mama was not quite ready yet :)  Anyway we made our way down to the piercing studio, met Ron and now both of our girls have earrings.  Yes, they are super proud…and Daddy scored a lot of points from his girlies…


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