Teeny Tiny Kitchen

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Salad
Pomegranate and Pear Salad with Parmesan Crisps PDF Print Write e-mail
Written by Launie Kettler   
Tuesday, 11 November 2014 16:11

 

 

I love to cook, my mother loves to cook, so Thanksgiving is our day to play. However, it's only going to be four of us for dinner this year, and Mom and I were talking about how to adjust the menu accordingly.

 

Then I threw out the idea that we jettison tradition and make something different.

 

The menu tentatively stands with a turkey breast stuffed with greens. And stuffing.

 

Because, we have to have stuffing.

 

But I want to make a big and beautiful winter salad, too. So, when I was at the grocery store and saw that pomegranates were only two dollars each – this salad idea popped into my head.

 

 

Bonus: It wasn't expensive either. Two dollars for the pomegranate, three dollars for the greens, a dollar for the pear, and I always have parmesan around.

 

Boom! Big winter salad it is! Serve the salad with some mini-muffins, because why not? They're adorable.

 

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A Lush Summer Cobb Salad with Lemon Chicken PDF Print Write e-mail
Written by Launie Kettler   
Tuesday, 26 August 2014 22:59

 

 

Minus the tomatoes, a cobb salad can pretty good any time of year. The ingredients don't really need to rely on any particular seasonable produce, so it's a fairly independent type of meal.

 

But if you happen to have gorgeous farmers market vegetables, why not utilize them? We had three types of tomatoes in our hanging vegetable basket, and scallions literally* longer than my forearm in the refrigerator.

 

All of those flavors made me want to make the chicken a little extra special too. So I marinated it in lemon juice and herbs for the perfect summer salad.

 

*Really, literally. Not the new Merriam-Webster definition, where “literal” can actually mean “figurative.” This is actually literal. The scallions go from the tips of my fingers almost to my shoulder. Mmmm. Scallions.

 

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Panzanella, the Perfect Salad for a Picnic PDF Print Write e-mail
Written by Launie Kettler   
Tuesday, 27 August 2013 18:11

 

 

Labor day is fast approaching and it typically leaves me a little stymied. Especially if I'm invited to a gathering and the hosts say, “Don't bring pasta salad, we've got that covered.”

 

Because then - of course - that's all I can think of to bring.

 

“Corkscrew pasta with dill and tomatoes!”

 

Nope. That's a pasta salad.

 

“Campanelle with mozzarella, olives and basil!”

 

No, sir. Not only is that pasta, it would also involve mozzarella sitting out for hours in the hot sun. Sweaty, warm mozzarella? No thanks.

 

“Blerg!” yells my inner Liz Lemon.

 

But then it dawned on me to make something that would actually improve the longer it sat out.

 

Panzanella salad.

 

It's meant to be made the day that it's eaten, but it also loves time to marinate. And it's incredibly inexpensive – especially compared to pasta salad.

 

(No joke. Maybe it's just me, but I can't make a good pasta salad for a crowd that costs less than $15.00 Sure, the pasta is inexpensive, but it's the olives, the parmesan, the occasional oil-packed artichoke heart and capers that make my pocket book shiver.)

 

On the other hand, panzanella is meant to be made with ingredients that are dirt cheap this time of year. Also, if you're feeling particularly frugal, you can make the bread yourself and then it's even more inexpensive.

 

This salad also lends itself to what you have laying around. Do you have some cooked beans? Add them in. Do you have some bell peppers kicking around? Add those too.

 

I was lucky enough to have 4 types of tomatoes in my vegetable bowl from our CSA and the farmers market. We have a little basil plant that was groomed for the salad, along with a bunch of parsley in water.

 

So, for four dinner-sized salads, or 8 small salads, I was out of pocket $1.99 for a loaf of bread.

 

Not too shabby for something that bursts with flavor and is incredibly addictive.

 

Although I'm going to give a full recipe, it's more of a guideline depending on what you have on hand. The two tricks are to have day-old bread, and an equal ratio of tomatoes to bread.

 

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Spicy Sesame Kale Slaw PDF Print Write e-mail
Written by Launie Kettler   
Saturday, 27 July 2013 10:16

 

 

 

On the 4th of July I was completely oblivious to the holiday. Jedd was at work, and I was doing boring (but necessary) things like paying bills and doing housework.

 

Not that I really minded the chores, because I had a Raising Hope marathon on all day while I washed windows and kept the car insured.

 

And if there's any show that makes me laugh harder than Raising Hope, I can't think of it. The show is so funny that I woke myself up laughing one morning while sleep-remembering this dialogue:

 

Burt Chance: “If she's scared of spiders she's sleeping in the wrong house. We have so many spiders that I've named a few. Speaking of that, I ran into Arlo in the hallway the other day along with 3 of his kids and his wife. What's her name? I can never remember.”

 

Here's another classic line: “I put my harmonica in the freezer because I thought it would be more refreshing to play that way.”

 

The show really is genius.

 

But, once I had the house and finances in order I remembered the date – and I thought I should make something appropriately festive.

 

Which this salad is.

 

It's spicy and crunchy, and the aroma of the sesame oil was magical. And Jedd and I politely fought over the last few bites.

 

Last Updated on Saturday, 27 July 2013 10:33
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Garam Masala Almonds PDF Print Write e-mail
Written by Launie Kettler   
Saturday, 25 May 2013 20:10

 

 

 

I know, I know. Current wisdom dictates that we're supposed to ditch our spices after a year. However, that's a rarity for the two of us. Some spices we'll blow through in less than a month – other spices linger long past their aromatic phase.

 

For instance, I'm not going to tell you how long I've had my opaque bottle of garlic powder.

 

But generally we use spices long before the 1-year mark, because we live near a bulk spice store and can buy as much (or little) as we need every few weeks.

 

Or so I thought.

 

The other day our spice drawer was jammed, and I couldn't figure out what the obstruction was. So I contorted my arms and finally pried loose a little tin of garam masala that I had received as a gift ... about 5 years ago. At the time I wondered what had happened to that little mix of cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and other spices that make up the lovely Indian spice mixture. Now I knew, it had been lodged in the upper recesses of our spice drawer.

 

However, in theory, because it was old I should have thrown it away.

 

But, that's something I couldn't bring myself to do. My mother has instilled the concept of “use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without” deeply in me. And both she and my grandmother still firmly believe in that practice.

 

None of us are fanatical – no one's wearing a pair of cutoff jean shorts or turning old curtains into skirts – but there's no woman in my family who would ever throw away an unopened bottle of spice.

 

And my equally frugal husband, Jedd, would have given me a hairy eyeball for ditching an expensive little tin of flavor.

 

Since I had the spice, I thought that it might be fun to toss some of the garam masala with some sliced almonds that I had just purchased. The initial batch was small because I didn't want to waste the nuts in case the sample batch went south. Once I pulled them out of the oven, I knew I had made a mistake.

 

The batch should have been tripled.

 

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