Teeny Tiny Kitchen

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Mozzarella and Thyme Stuffed Squash Blossoms (My Little Ode To the Sopranos) PDF Print Write e-mail
Written by Launie Kettler   
Tuesday, 05 August 2014 15:23

 

 

It's amazing how easy it is to lose touch with friends. Between life and work, sometimes we're not great about driving a few miles to see each other.

 

But when we do, it's pretty wonderful.

 

So, a couple of weeks ago when we spent the day and evening with friends it was like a little holiday. A little holiday that ended with a present!

 

My friend Kelee and I were hanging out on her back lawn chatting and drinking beer, when somehow the subject came up of an ingredient I'd always wanted to cook with – squash blossoms.

 

“Why squash blossoms?” she asked.

 

“Because stuffed squash blossoms are in my favorite episode of the Sopranos. I've never had them, and they sounded really cool.”

 

(Ugh. Just typing that makes we want to re-watch “Funhouse.” But I haven't been able to watch any Sopranos since James Gandolfini died. I'm still in DEEP denial about that. Nopeity, nope, nope. Didn't happen. La, la, la.)

 

Then Kelee invited me to look at her garden – and she had a bunch of squash blossoms! She gave me four to take home.

 

And it's to her and Jedd's credit that they didn't think that I was a little odd when I jumped up and down.

 

 

I made them this afternoon and they were wonderful. They were floral, even though they'd been lightly fried and the warm mozzarella and thyme melted with each bite.

 

Oh, and since the only cost I was out was oil and mozzarella, the fried squash blossoms set me back about $1.50. Not bad, Kelee and her garden. Not bad.

 

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Yes, Virginia. You Can Freeze Scallions and Make a Sriracha Pancake with Them PDF Print Write e-mail
Written by Launie Kettler   
Monday, 04 August 2014 17:48

 

The title is a play off of the movie “Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus,” because for the last two years I've only had these amazing scallions in the summer and was stymied about how to make them last.

 

Then it dawned on me - freeze them for the winter! Yay! It's like Christmas in August. So, instead of having my refrigerator overrun with two-foot scallions that go bad before I can use all of them, I have them for soups, stews, sauces and salsas in December.

 

 

(Just so you can wonder at the amazing size of these scallions, I placed them next to new kitchen twine and a 50 cent piece for scale.)

 

Phew. Problem solved.

 

But, I was curious how they'd reheat. Would the texture be okay? Would they be watery? So, I decided to make a savory pancake with them – and use sriracha.

 

And since Jedd and I have been binging on "Top Chef," I thought it might tickle him to be a “judge,” so he'd get to say things like, “flavor profile,” “texture” and espouse about seasoning.

 

Some couples hike. Some couples shop. We like to talk about food.

 

His notes: “The sriracha gave it a good and spicy bite without being overpowering and the pancake was seasoned well. The texture was good, and it would be a pretty delicious post-bar dish. As easy to cook as scrambled eggs, but way better.”

 

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Avocado, Ancho and Cilantro Hummus PDF Print Write e-mail
Written by Launie Kettler   
Tuesday, 29 July 2014 23:42

 

 

Summer is great for eating. Hello, Nature's bounty! But the combination of hot weather and outdoor parties can leave me a little perplexed about what to bring to a barbecue or gathering by the lake. Dairy? Absolutely not. Pasta salad? Of course! However everyone brings those. (Literally. Everyone. I went to a party a couple of years ago that should have been called “The Great Pasta Salad Potluck of 2012.” Not that I was complaining though. Hello, pasta salad!) Homemade hummus though, works perfectly. Especially when it's spicy and creamy like this one.

 

And making your own chili and cumin pita chips as dippers, will make you more popular than you can imagine.

 

Well, let me rephrase that. “It will make you almost as popular as the guy who brings the good case of beer.”

 

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Pea Shoot, Pea and Strawberry Salad: The Most Summer Salad, That's Ever Been Summer Salad-ed PDF Print Write e-mail
Written by Launie Kettler   
Tuesday, 22 July 2014 17:35

 

I look at photos of summer produce, the way I look at vacation photos. “Ah, remember that?” And this is one of those dishes that I'm going to wistfully revisit in the dark of winter.

 

Fresh pea shoots from the farmers market, fresh peas from the CSA, fresh strawberries from a farm stand – and last but not least – edible flowers from my mother's garden.

 

To quote Gus from Psych, “C'mon son!”

 

The gauntlet has been thrown, the bet is a triple-dog dare one. Bring it on summer, and outdo these ingredients! Because from where I'm sitting, it doesn't get any more summer than this.

 

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Homemade Pappardelle with Parmesan Cream Sauce and Chive Blossoms PDF Print Write e-mail
Written by Launie Kettler   
Monday, 09 June 2014 00:44

 

How fancy does this sauce look? Very. But it's ridiculously simple to make. And to quote my friend Kelee, it's “deeeeeeeeeelicious.”

 

The papperdelle itself was a little bit of a challenge though. Because we have such a small space, I couldn't dry the pasta in the kitchen.

 

Mama's got no room to hang!

 

So, out came the laundry hanger. Jedd watched the cats in the living room to make sure that they didn't think the drying pasta was a toy, while I rolled it and cut it in the kitchen.

 

 

It was our Saturday night family project.

 

 

Once the pasta was dried, I promptly put in the freezer for upcoming meals.

 

Homemade pasta in the freezer is a little gift to yourself, from yourself.

 

Other than the drying though, the pasta couldn't be simpler to make. Just drop three ingredients in the food processor and away you go!

 

The chive blossoms were courtesy of my mother-in-law who thought I'd like to dry them, because they're so pretty.

 

But she wasn't exactly shocked when I said that I'd rather cook with them.

 

Full blown chive blossoms? Hello, Sailor!

 

Combine those with a salty parmesan cream sauce along with some fresh pea shoots, and this is a wonderful meal where the main players are only available in spring.

 

It's a beautiful confluence of ingredients.

 

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