Skillet Seared Tomatoes and Quick Pickled Onion Salad

IMG_1197

  You ever make dish, completely on the fly, just to use something up (I have a lot of ripe tomatoes) with no real expectation, just because… Then have it be one of the best freaking things that you have ever made? This salad is one of those things.. maybe not the best thing I have ever made, but definitely the best salad I have ever made…. this week.

A salad compiled of all things amazing, taking just a few minutes to make and is the perfect balance of uber fresh with baby spinach, raw kale, and crunchy quick pickled onions. Then adding a touch of warmth with the sweet and juicy seared tomatoes and big chunks of creamy avocado.

I mean, for reals. …...Best Salad Ever !!!! (this week)

Now let's do this.

IMG_1148
IMG_1152
IMG_1172
IMG_1174

 The Stuff. A big bowl of baby spinach and chopped up kale, a few sliced up roma tomatoes, some super thinly sliced red onion, half an avocado, red wine vinegar and salt and pepper.  Before you do anything, place the sliced onions into bowl, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and add a few glugs of the red wine vinegar. You want the onions to sit in the vinegar for at least 5 minutes on the counter cause the longer they sit the more crispy pickly they get. (after eating onions like this, you will never want to eat them any other way) Lightly oil a skillet and preheat to a medium heat. Once the skillet is hot, sprinkle the tomato slices with salt and pepper and  place tomatoes right on in, snugly, but not overlapping. Let cook for about 3-4 minutes, or until the bottoms start to brown. Flip and cook other side for another few minutes.Once the tomatoes are seared on both sides, remove them gently from skillet and toss them on top of the bowl of greens.

IMG_1205

Take the pickled onions and toss those right on top, with any of the residual vinegar, add dice and scoop the half of avocado and toss that on in as well.And now eat the best salad ever (this week).

Make the day good!

-C

Skillet Seared Tomato and Quick Pickled Onion Salad

Serves 2 as a side, 1 for a hungry eater

  • 2 large or 3 smaller roma tomatoes
  • 1/2 of a red onion
  • 2-3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped kale
  • salt pepper
  • 1/2 a ripe avocado 
  • olive oil (to grease pan)

Thinly slice red onion and place in a bowl.  Add vinegar into a and sprinkle with salt. Let sit on counter for at least 5 minutes, if not longer,

Slice tomatoes into 1/2 inch thick rounds and sprinkle with a pitch or salt and pepper.  Lightly oil a skillet and preheat it on medium heat. Once the skillet is preheated, stick the tomatoes on it (watch out for splattering tomato juice) Cook first side for about 3 minutes or until the bottom has browned, then flip and do the same for other side. 

One tomatoes are seared, place directly onto the greens. Now dump the pickled onions and residual vinegar on top. And  dice up  avocado and add that on top too. 

Now eat your salad, fork or fingers…  

And I know, ba-daaaamn. So good.

Banana Naner Ice Cream and Cookies and Cream Naner Ice Cream

 IMG_0424    IMG_1919 I figured now is a good time to get this recipe out there before we get to far into spring and summer recipes because there is going to be a lot of banana ice cream filled recipe coming and I figured its a good idea to have the basic banana ice cream recipe ready for people to refer too.  And because I made so much fantastic naner ice cream, I also made a cookies and cream naner ice cream for my sisters and the mister.

Comments that I got from my sisters and the mister when I made them this ice cream

-Sister one."I give this my sister seal of approval.. It's so good.  The first dessert you have made that I liked! (not including all the other desserts that you have made that I liked)"

-Sister two- "Wow.. it looks like ice cream and feels like ice cream and tastes like ice cream.. You should make me this ice cream!" (I was confused too because I was pretty sure I just made her some)

-The mister- "I am so excited for my new fly fishing pole!"

Ok, so the naner ice cream isn't new to the mister and he IS very much excited for his new fly fish pole. So excited that he forgot to tell me how amazing that I am and to thank me for making him a big bowl of yumminess. (It's ok, I forgive him)

And yes, this is probably one of the easiest, most delicious, healthy and amazing frozen dessert that you will ever eat. You will probably find yourself buying mass amounts of bananas and stocking the freezer until things just start falling out. (which is also ok because it's only bananas and you can't have too many frozen bananas)

IMG_2043   IMG_2049The stuff you need for this ice cream…. Nice and ripe bananas, peeled and then frozen* That's it.

To make it, place frozen bananas into food processor and hit the on button. Process the crap out of the namers until nice and silky smooth. 

*Note, the smaller the frozen chunks are , the faster and maybe a little easier for the blender to blend the naners into ice cream. So if you think of it, chop bananas into pieces before freezing or even after.

IMG_2054After all blended and smooth, either eat right away or scoop ice cream into a freezer safe container and stick in freezer. That's the banana ice cream…  And it is amazing and so so so so so addictive. I make a batch, think I am only going to eat a scoop, then find myself eating half of what I have made, but it's ok cause it's only bananas. 

Now for the cookies and cream banana ice cream..IMG_0428One batch of banana ice cream, either freshly made, still in food processor or made ahead and placed in a food processor and given a good pulse to smooth it up.

Add cookies in, crushing a bit beforehand and pulse till combined. IMG_0434Now you have cookies and cream naner ice cream…. and everybody is happy.

Scoop into a cup, a bowl, a freezer safe container, or directly into your mouth. Be careful…. You can still get brain freeze from eating naner ice cream too fast!

Keep it real hump day drum bum!

-C


Basic Banana Ice Cream

Makes one batch. Good for 3-4 servings

  • 4-5  ripe bananas peeled and frozen

Peel  bananas and stick in a freezer bag or container and freeze. When bananas are completely frozen, break into pieces and stick into a food processor or blender and puree until silky smooth. 

Eat right away or scoop into a freezer safe container for later.

Cookies and Cream Banana Ice Cream

  • 1 batch banana ice cream
  • 5-10 (depending on your cookie need) cream filled cookies like oreos or Trader Joe's Joe Joe's (These are gluten free)

In a food processor, blend banana ice cream with cookies.

Eat right away, with a utensil of choice in a container of choice.

Bowl licking is acceptable. 

Kohlrabi Apple Walnut Slaw

IMG_0405Before we left for the weekend, I was was trying my hardest to empty the fridge out of all food with the intention of leaning it empty so I could leave it open to defrost while were were gone. Unfortunately I was not able to make it happen. What I did make happen was emptying it almost completely so that when we got home, we had pretty much no food in the house, except for a few things that probably should be eaten.  Plus one of the last things that I want to do after sitting in a car for 6 hours is go to the grocery store, or anywhere for that matter, so I was determined to make with what wet had in the fridge:

  • Carrots
  • half of a gigantic kohlrabi
  • soy milk
  • iced tea
  • bananas that needed to be frozen
  • strawberries

Perfect!  A few carrots and half of a gigantic kohlrabi.. plus at the hotel we were staying at, there were fruit bowls in he lobby full apples. Every time I went past the apples (which was a lot) I grab one or two, so I have a few apples (I actually have a lot of apples now). All the things I need for a super awesome salad slaw. Apples with their  nice sweet crispiness and kohlrabi with its cabbagey, crunchy earthiness, tossed together with some vinegar, some toasted walnuts and some carrots, I mean, so freaking good. And to make it a bit more of a meal, I made some lentils to go with it. But the best part was there was no need to leave the house!!

 IMG_0361    IMG_0364The stuff… A huge hunk of a bigger then my head kohlrabi (or 2 normal bulbs). A carrot, an apple, toasted walnuts, red wine vinegar, and some salt.

Pretty simple stuff going on here. Just peel and julienne the kohlrabi, carrot and apple. (no need to peel the carrot or apple unless you want too) and stick it all into a bowl.  I used my mandolin, which is one of my favorite kitchen tools ever, but if you don't have one, a box grater works too.IMG_0372Sprinkle with salt and a good glug glug of red wine vinegar. Chop up the walnuts (some big chunks and some very small pieces makes for good eating), toss it all together and, well that's it. But wait…. let it sit for a few minutes before serving to really let the flavors draw out.IMG_0393And there we have it. Super fast, full of flavors and crunchy texture. A salad slaw after my own heart.

Serve it as it or add to a bed of greens, rice, or lentils… and make sure to save at least as little… cause its an awesome little pre-bed snack.

Happy Week!!

-C


Kohlrabi Apple Walnut Slaw

  • 2 medium sized Kohlrabis 
  • 1 medium apple   
  • 1 small carrot
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts
  • red wine vinegar
  • salt

In a large bowl, julienne kohlrabi (after peeled) apple and carrot. Sprinkle with salt, add in vinegar. Rough chop walnuts and toss the whole bit together. Let sit for at least 10 minutes, if not longer before serving. (A great salad to make ahead of time)

Eat as is, or toss onto a bed of greens, plate of rice or a bowl of lentils.

Any left overs only end up tasting better the next day.

Peanut Butter Freezer Grapes

IMG_4122I can't stop eating these. They are like little balls of crack and I am an addict.

Frozen peanut butter grapes… I mean, I just can't stop.

So you say you have never frozen your grapes? Well you should. It's the only way I like to eat them anymore.  I was never a huge grape fan, but one day long ago, I discovered the wonder that is the frozen grape and it is amazing, Now whenever grapes are on sale at the grocery store, I buy way to many and end up filling our tiny little freezer with jars and bowls of grapes.  Then whenever the mister goes to grab the bag of  frozen peas for his sore back or knees, there is almost always a frozen grape avalanche. Why I don't put a lid on those containers is even a mystery to me.  Oh, now I remember.. I want easy access.Oopen the freezer, grab a few grapes, and go on my way… not having a lid to take off makes the process a little easier.

Then one day, the frozen grape game turned into something else, something a little more decadent and even more addicting. Where it came from, I do not know. Maybe it's some subconscious throwback to a childhood full of peanut butter and grape jelly sandwiches, or maybe it's just that fact that I think peanut butter can pretty much go with anything. But no matter why, I started dipping those frozen grapes into peanut butter and never looked back. And now when I have grapes, it's all I want to eat.

I am warning you now, once you start making these, watch out, because before you know it, you will develop a frozen grape addiction too. And littles.. they are as easily  addicted to these as well. I have seen kids that hate grapes go totally bonkers for these.  Just so you know.

IMG_4056The stuff  you will need. Washed and drained fresh grapes (green or red. I usually use red but the green were half the price and the red ones didn't taste very grapie*) Creamy peanut butter, skewers, and a little bit of cinnamon or cocoa powder (optional)

*Note. When you are the store, try  before you buy. You know what I mean, eat a few while shopping aground. I say this because not all grape are created equal. Some taste way better than others. I have bought grapes before that didn't taste like anything or that have really tough skins, and those just piss me off, so eating a few will guarantee that your money is being well spent and that the grapes won't disappoint you.

Ok, so now let's make these bad boys.

Simple simple. Two grapes per skewer (or toothpick) Lay on a wax paper covered dish or pan and stick them in the freezer until frozen. IMG_4108When the grapes are frozen, melt peanut butter. Take a big glob and stick in a tall skinny cup or bowl and stick in the microwave or heat in a sauce pan and then transfer to a tall skinny vessel.  Take frozen skewed grapes and, one skewer at a time, dip in the peanut butter. Cover with as much or as little of the peanut butter as you want and place on wax paper. If you are feeling feisty, add a sprinkle or cinnamon or even a dash of cocoa powder. Or, this may seem a little crazy, but garlic powder is so F*ing good.(it's worth at least giving it a try) When all grapes are dipped, place back into freezer for another 10 minutes or so to let the peanut butter set up a bit.

IMG_4146Whenever your ready… Eat. And be so happy. And always keep a back stock of frozen grapes in the freezer. They are the best.

Keep it realz.

-C


Peanut Butter Freezer Grapes

the quantity is up to you, but I recommend making a shit ton!

  • Creamy Peanut butter (I use organic creamy from Trader Joes, or natural skippy)
  • Green or Red Grapes
  • Cinnamon and or cocoa powder (Optional)
  • Toothpicks or skewers

Wash grapes and skewer 2 grapes onto a stick. Place on a flat surface and stick into the freezer until frozen, which usually takes about an hour.

Once grapes are frozen, stick a big glob of peanut butter into a tall skinny vessel (Like a juice cup or a 4 oz ball jar) and warm to a liquid constancy in the microwave (about 30-45 seconds) or if you don't have a microwave, stick in a sauce pan, warm on stove, and pour into a glass (what I do)

Remove frozen grapes from freezer and dip into melted peanut butter. Place on a wax paper line tray or pan and sprinkle with cinnamon and or cocoa powder, or not, or a few (whatever you want) and stick back into freezer for another 10 minutes.

Eat as many as you want… Make so many because you will become addicted!

Happy Bits

IMG_7774 Oh do I love a good Sunday. The picture above was taken last Sunday and what a glorious day that was. The mister and I took the pup hiking and it was the most spectacular of days. Sunny, 30 degrees and no wind..I could't have asked for better weather.  

The rest of the week turned out alright. The weather went back to hell again and I was a little frantic and super busy, but all in all, good. I accomplished some things  that needed to be done and got to spend time with just about everyone in my family. The highlight was when my sister slept over and we finally watched the Fault in our Stars while eating lots of food, cuddled together on the couch. (movie was good, but book was better. Books are always better) We then woke up early the next day and we (the mister too)  journeyed across state lines to the closest Target where we purchased some hand soap,  2 seltzer waters and 2 jars of baby food. (I needed the jars) On our way out, the lady experienced her first ever taco from the taco bell in the food court before heading back to Vt. We spent the car ride singing terrible pop songs and eating the babyhood (Blueberries and sweet potato, and yes, they are tasty) We then came back tom my house, listened to more awesome music while she did her homework and I played on the computer and made dinner.  It was the best. 

Heres a few of this weeks happy bits from the internet. 

- I will be making these wire baskets this week. I need storage and I love a good wire basket.

-I have been ending  up on this website every night..Making plans

-I need this shirt!!! Feel free to buy it for me!

-Throw Back Song!… And yes, I was sure I was going to be Mrs. Zac Hanson when I was 11. 

-My sister sent me this link, Wool and the Gang. So cool.

-These pictures made me laugh. I end up with veggies like this all the time.

And here are a few pictures of my real life happy…..

IMG_1389Playing on the frozen lake. It was so freaking cold and windy, but we just had to do it!

IMG_1402

Beach stairs. Hopefully soon they will be a little less icy and maybe even lead to some sand and not waist high drifts of snow.

IMG_1488 Two of my favorite people in the world.

IMG_7785And I made brunch with 2 more of my favorites.

IMG_7814My little brothers (can I say little if they are bigger then me?) came over and we all had dinner together while listening to music from when they were born. Nothing like a few 17 year olds to make a person feel old.

IMG_1100Blooming daffodils. I love to watch my flowers open up, it's just as good as the flower itself. 

Have the best first week of March ever!!!

-C

Happy bit

IMG_1372 Another week in the Siberian Express (and another catchy name for weather)  The lake is completely frozen over and the snow piles are getting bigger then ever… We are in the dead of the winter, which means it an only get better from here.

Yes cold, but not a bad week. I have been getting our stuff together to start the ever daunting task of filing our taxes (blaaahhhhh), and the lovely mister has spent his week pretty much dealing with everyone's frozen pipes (poor guy), but we have managed to fit in a little fun. Dinner with sisters. A day with a little that included a lunch date of clementines and mustard. We even went to a high school play that my littlest sister was in. (She was so freaking awesome!) Plus, this week I have really noticed the longer amounts of daylight happening. (I can't wait for daylight savings)  I can feel it in my inner most parts of myself..that its going to be spring soon!!! I just need to keep from freezing to death for a few more weeks.

Here is some fun internet stuff  I have found this week.

  • These Stuffed pets are pretty funny. If I were to bring home a stuffed animal that looked like the trash dog, he would almost certainly love it for about a week, but the moment he feels like he is not getting the adequate amount of attention, would stand in front of me and slowly tear it apart. (because that's what he does)
  • I want to make this Marbled paper… But am going to wait until I can do it outside, so maybe in like a few months

And a few bits from the real world

IMG_7731-1-1This little is rocking out to some sweet tunes….We started out listening to Beck and ended up listening to Elmo. I guess that happens sometimes. 

IMG_7756-1Can I buy then all? I am a plant hoarder… and can never get enough. I took this picture, walked away to contemplate about weather or not to buy the purple one, went back and someone else had grabbed it. Bummer,…So instead I bought some fresh daffodils, YAY!

IMG_7761 Romanesco. A cross between cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, and a space ship.  Pretty Pretty!

IMG_7716-1

It took this guy about 5 minutes to cross over this bridge. The stick in this mouth was too long and would get stuck between the two railings. It  was some funny shit. 

IMG_2145_2Of things to come!!! 

Have a fantastically lovely week..It's the last one of February! 

-C