Summer Kitchen Help


Updated from July 2013 and in time for summer meals

Our kids are home this summer and already complaining that they are bored.  Hubby and I are working everyday, with a bit of travel thrown in there as well and then find our selves coming home and trying to find something for dinner.  Well after a few days of that and coming home to a  marathon of “Say yes to the dress” on in the family room we said – find something better to do.   

Our daughter loved to cook last year, I suggested she find something to make for dinner. “Let us know what you need from the grocery store and we can make it happen”.  So, low and behold our little chef is back in the kitchen whipping up a Cooking Light dinner for the four of us.

Sausage, Tomato and Arugula Fettuccine

1 (9-ounce) package refrigerated fettuccine

1 tablespoon olive oil
6 ounces Italian turkey sausage
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 cups baby arugula leaves
2 ounces pecorino Romano cheese, shaved

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 2/3 cup cooking liquid.

While pasta cooks, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Remove casings from sausage. Break sausage into bite-sized pieces and add to pan; cook 3 minutes or until browned, stirring frequently to crumble. Add garlic; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add tomatoes and pepper; cover and cook 2 minutes. Mash tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon to break them up. Cover pan; reduce heat to low, and cook 3 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Add pasta, reserved 2/3 cup cooking liquid, and arugula; toss well. Sprinkle with pecorino romano.


It’s a tie! The Great Salsa Show Down!

So yesterday morning I walked out to the garden to gather the mixin’s for some fresh, home made salsa.  It is very simple to make and mixes up real quick.  I picked 3 tomatoes, 1 bell pepper, a couple of jalepeno peppers and some fresh parsley.  I went back to the kitchen and a grabbed my Better Homes and Garden cookbook.  Opened to the last page of the section titled sauces and relishes and began the preparation.  Fifteen minutes later I have a bowl of salsa chilling in the refrigerator for later.

Our afternoon was going to be spent watching our son play in the first round of his basketball tournament.  I was hoping for a win so that we would have been done about 3:30, we could head home for a little wine on the patio and then a great steak dinner.  Well, it did not turn out that way. They lost their first game and were set to play again at 5:30.  It was a double elimination tournament and there was a delay.  Game started after 6 p.m. and when they finished, with a win (back on Sunday) it was after 7:15.  
We headed home for the evening and while our son went off to play with the kids in the back yard, we settled in for a cup of coffee before heading up to the neighbors fire pit.  Next thing we know our foodie friends pop in, with a bottle of wine and his home made salsa!  
So this morning we out the two to the test!  My salsa is on the right.

Hubby says it’s a draw, daughter says I win and our sone, the food critic says foodie’s wins!
1 cup finely chopped tomato
1/2 cup tomato sauce
2 jalapeños finely chopped (leave seeds in) 
1/4 cup chopped scallions
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
2 tablespoons of snipped cilantro or parsley
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 clove of garlic, pressed
Several dashes of bottled hot pepper sauce
In a mixing bowl combine tomatoes, sauce, jalapeño, scallion, green pepper, cilantro or parsley, lemon juice, garlic,  hot pepper sauce and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper. Place about half of mixture in a blender container or food processor.  Process until smooth, add back to tomato mixture.  Cover and chill for at least 4 hours, stirring occasionally. Use for tortilla dip, top chicken pieces fresh from grill or use over vegetables, eggs, etc.