Something Tasty: Lemon Orzo Salad

Cooking in the summer has always been difficult for me. Not because I don’t enjoy cooking. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. I really love cooking, and I struggle with making meals in the summer that don’t have me and the kitchen really warm by the time it’s all said and done. Plus, I don’t really like heavy foods in warm weather. This means I need something quick and yummy. Enter, lemon orzo salad with asparagus and tomatoes. I found this on Pinterest (seriously, you need to join if you haven’t yet. I probably sent you an invite). Doesn’t it just look yummy?!

It was delicious and super easy. Harrison kept asking for “More, please” (like 3 times) and saying, “Juicy” (for the tomatoes). The great thing was that I had everything on hand. I knew what I wanted to use, and it happened that I had pinned this recipe just yesterday. High-five to myself. Here’s a link to the recipe. I’m not sure what fresh asparagus runs these days at the store since I’m not sure it’s in season anymore, but I always have a bag of frozen asparagus spears from Trader Joe’s in my freezer. I also used lemon juice since I didn’t have a fresh lemon. Now, make it and enjoy!

Something Tasty: Rutabagas and Carrots

Late…again. Last week was our second week of our CSA. Here’s what was inside:

  • Specialty lettuce
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumber
  • Rutabaga
I have never cooked with rutabaga before. For anyone interested, here’s a link to more information on the lovely root vegetable. Do make sure to peel enough of the skin off; otherwise, you’ll be left with some roughness even after boiling or roasting it. I went with a recipe featured in the insert our CSA provided.
This simple dish only required 5 ingredients (6 if you want to include water): 4-5 carrots, 1 medium rutabaga, 3-4Tbs butter, ground pepper, kosher salt. Peel the carrots and rutabaga and cut into 1″ cubes. Put the carrots into a large saucepan and fill with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then add the salt and rutabaga. Once this has come to a boil, cover and boil for 10-15 minutes (or until vegetables are fork-tender). Drain off the water then add the butter cut into small pieces. Mash and add ground pepper. I slightly mashed my vegetables, making sure to leave some chunks. I just did this because Harrison is into eating with his fork, lately. (Side note: even with the fork, Harrison refused the rutabaga. He liked the carrots, though.) The next day, David had the good idea to add a bit of grated sharp cheddar, and this was quite delightful.
*Rutabaga image can be found here

Something Tasty: Kale Chips

Last week was the first week of the CSA we are participating in. You can read more about that here. I thought it would be a good idea to feature a recipe that we try each week and let you know how it turn out: good or bad. We were gone last week (more on that later), but our neighbors were kind enough to make us some delicious food with some of the fresh produce featured in our box last week. Here’s what was in there:

  • 2 1lbs strawberries
  • Small bunch kale
  • Small bunch spring onions
  • 2 1bs tomatoes
  • 3 lbs sweet potatoes
  • 8 oz lettuce mix

Our neighbors made us kale chips, and they were delicious. At first, Harrison was unsure of trying them, but once I was able to get him to taste one, he couldn’t get enough. I tried my hand at them today, and they turned out pretty well. I put a little too much olive oil on them, but they were still crispy and Harrison didn’t complain. David enjoyed them, too.

I forgot to take a picture, but here’s a lovely online one:

I didn’t have to wash my kale because it is organic, but one of the most important steps is to rinse the kale and pat it completely dry or spin it in a salad spinner. Break the leaves off into small pieces, lay them on parchment-lined baking sheet. Then, drizzle some olive oil and sprinkle a little salt on them. Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes. Enjoy.

Update: I made these again yesterday and made some changes. Instead of drizzling the olive oil, I placed the kale in a Ziploc bag with the olive oil and salt and shook it.  This distributed the olive oil more evenly. I also added some curry powder into the mix, and this turned out tasty. 

*Kale chip image found here.

Let’s Get Cookin’

My little man loves the kitchen! Since we were in Missouri back in November and Grandpa Bunge gave Harrison a whisk and a bowl, it was a match made in cooking heaven :). This led to Harrison getting some mini kitchen utensils at Christmas, which he enjoys and lots of wanting to prevent help Mommy cook. The other week I caught Harrison pushing one of the bar stools toward the counter and then attempting to climb it so he could make a mess help Mommy make food. Lately, Harrison has enjoyed sitting in his chair and watching Mommy cook and explain what and how much of everything she’s adding in. While I’m willing to let Harrison help me stir dry ingredients in a bowl, I am not ready to (nor is he) let him help near the oven. He wants to hinder be helpful in the kitchen, but it’s difficult to get him to understand that he cannot do everything.

What does any of this have to do with anything? Unfortunately I do not have a cute video of Harrison annoying me being helpful in the kitchen. David usually isn’t home yet, and I can’t in good conscience whip out the video camera while Harrison is attempting to maneuver his way through the kitchen obstacle course. This I do wish I had on video because little man has become quite adept at ducking, army crawling, walking and climbing his way around. Any way, in hopes of distracting Harrison and playing into my Ikea affection (addiction?), I couldn’t pass these up over the weekend.

Grandma B. got one set, and I got the other. They are supposed to be Valentine’s gifts, but they may just come out randomly as needed. A mommy’s got to have provisions :).