Not-Really-Nicoise-Salad

IMG_9295This month at Food ‘n Flix we watched A Good Year, a movie about a man who goes to France and something or other. This movie was hosted by Squirrel Head Manor.

Frankly, I wasn’t enamored with the movie. Really, I found it boring. I didn’t find any of the characters likable. I wasn’t inspired. I do still love participating though, even when my inspiration is lacking, so I decided to find some way to participate.

The gist of the movie is Max goes to France when he learns his deceased uncle has left his chateau to him. A plus about the movie is that the scenery and sets are beautiful – I did quite want to go to France (and live on a Vineyard no less.)

Anyway – this inspiration came from a part in the movie where Max was helping as a waiter at a French restaurant. An American tourist orders a salad “nee-swa-zay” with low-cal ranch dressing and some bacon bits sprinkled on top. Max then gets indignant and makes some remarks about fast food.

I decided to make the Salad Nee-Swa-Zay for that American tourist – though she probably still will hate it because I just couldn’t do ranch dressing on this salad.

A Good Year

I don’t think I can call this a Nicoise salad, because I sort of don’t have any Nicoise olives on it. That’s cheating, right? But if I’m making it for the American tourist, she probably wouldn’t want those olives – because I don’t like olives. And I even gave it some fresh bacon bits. I mean, I’m sure the tourist would have preferred the type out of a jar, but I can only sink to a certain level here.

So I have no idea what a Nicoise salad actually tastes like, but this not-really-Nicoise-salad was quite delicious with my heavy American hand.

Not-Really-Nicoise-Salad

Ingredients
3 tbsp lime juice
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp onion, diced
2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp Dijon mustard
salt and pepper, to taste
4 slices bacon
10 small yellow potatoes, cubed
1 head lettuce, torn into bite size pieces
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1 can tuna
4 oz green beans, trimmed

Directions

1. In a small bowl stir together the lime juice, olive oil, onion, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper. Set aside.

2. In a small skillet, fry the bacon. Once fried, drain on paper towels. Set aside and let cool.

3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Boil the potatoes. Boil until tender. Drain and set aside.

4. While the potatoes and bacon are cooking, toss the lettuce with 2 tbsp of the dressing made in step 1. Divide onto two plates. Divide the tuna between the two plates and place in a scoop on top of the lettuce.

5. Toss the tomatoes with 1 tbsp dressing. Arrange in a mound around the lettuce.

6. Toss the eggs with 1 tbsp dressing. Arrange in a mound around the lettuce.

7. Toss the potatoes with 2 tbsp dressing. Arrange in a mound around the lettuce.

8. In a pot, bring water to boil. Boil the green beans for 3 minutes. Drain and blanch, by running cold water over them for 30 seconds. Arrange in a mound around the lettuce.

9. Chop the bacon. Sprinkle on top of the salad. If any dressing remains, drizzle it over the salad.

* Besides this month’s Food ‘n Flix I’m sharing this salad with Wednesday Whatsits and Cast Party Wednesday

Pantry Party October Round Up

pantry

It’s been a slow month here for me in terms of updating, but I was happy there were several entries for this month’s Pantry Party. This month I challenged you to make a casserole. Casseroles are the best type of pantry food there is. You throw everything together, stick it in the oven, call it a day! 😉

greek chicken casserole 4The first dish comes to us from Michelle from Ms. enPlace. Michelle shared a yummy looking Greek Chicken Casserole. This dish used a lot of pantry items, including rice, olives, canned artichokes, cream of chicken soup, dried dill, dried oregano, and some pita chips. This was the perfect dish to start this month’s round up!

zucchini_tomato_casserole_sliceThe next dish came from Little Joy Factory. Even Little Joy Factory’s daughters who don’t generally like zucchini liked this casserole. And who can blame them? Using a simple combination of dried spices and cheese, this is sure to leave people asking for seconds.

Vegetable Primavera Casserole 4The next dish is shared by Denise of Soup Spice Everything Nice. Denise was initially stumped by what she should make for this month’s Pantry Party, but decided to try a Vegetable Primavera Casserole. This recipe, relying heavily on the pantry and on items in the freezer, made Denise want to lick her plate. Another great entry into this month’s little round up!

IMG_9294The last casserole up this month is my Cheesy Pecan Chicken Casserole. Topped with potato chips, pecans, and cheese, this chicken filled casserole was very filling. I like that you can use different chips to make the casserole different each time.

Hopefully next month we can have a bash 😉 I loved all the casserole dishes this month though, thanks for entering!

Cheesy Pecan Chicken Casserole

IMG_9294

 

It’s been casserole month here at our very own Pantry Party. It’s the day before entries are due and I’m finally getting my own entry published. It’s about time. I’ve been slacking at updating. But I did make a casserole!

From my pantry, it used: pecans and cream of chicken soup. I actually didn’t have to buy very much for this at all. I love having a stocked fridge.

Cheesy Pecan Chicken Casserole
(source)

Ingredients
2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
2 tbsp onion, finely diced
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup (mine was herb flavored)
2 tsp lemon juice
1 cup cheddar and sour cream chips, crushed
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Directions

1. Mix together all the ingredients except the chips and the cheese in a casserole dish.

2. Combine the chips and the cheese together. Sprinkle it evenly on top of the casserole.

3. Bake uncovered for 35 minutes at 375.

* serves 6
* Shared with See Ya In The Gumbo

Smashed Pea and Mint Bruschetta

bruschetta

 

I’ve been busy. I’ve been SO busy. But it’s been great. I had my second trial ever last week. I haven’t even passed the bar exam yet, but I’ve had two trials and in this most recent trial I hung the jury, which is awesome.

In food news, I’ve decided I’m not going to buy bread anymore. I feel like it costs so much money and I can easily make it myself. Since making this decision I’ve made several different breads: baguettes, hamburger buns, dinner rolls, and pita. This weekend I’ll be making hamburger buns and baguettes again. It takes over my Sundays, but it takes them over in a wonderfully great way.

I decided to make bruschetta with the baguette I made. The combination of peas and mint was quite springy, which might be out of season for the fall season that is finally cooling down my house, but the fresh combination was still welcome. I served it alongside a simple noodle.

Smashed Pea and Mint Bruschetta
(source)

Ingredients
1/2 baguette
10-oz frozen peas, thawed
1 tbsp mint, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Directions

1.  Slice the baguette into rounds. I got about 9 slices out of my 1/2 baguette. Place the rounds on a baking sheet. Broil until they’re golden brown (about 1 1/2 minutes per side.)

2. Process the peas in a food processor. Process until roughly chopped. Stir in the mint, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

3. Spread the mixture on the rounds.

weekend cooking

* makes about 9 pieces
* I’m sharing this recipe with Weekend Cooking

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

photo

 

My lack of updating isn’t currently do to a lack of cooking. Rather, my lack of updating is entirely the fault of I haven’t cooked anything to die for lately. Everything’s been blah – and I don’t really need to share those blah recipes. Just this week I made pumpkin lasagna reminiscent of baby food and beef in the slow cooker which was too dry.

One thing I did not falter on were these muffins.

I try every month to participate in Chocolate Log Blog’s We Should Cocoa. We Should Cocoa is a monthly blogger challenge – make a chocolate recipe that fits the theme of the month. This month’s We Should Cocoa is being hosted by JibberJabberUK who provided the theme of vegetables.

I initially had planned to make beet chocolate muffins, but some change in my finances has allowed me now to only go grocery shopping every other week. This basically means by week two I have to make sure to use up everything I have in the house. I was wasting too much before and spending more than I had.  Because I had no beets on the day I decided I needed to make chocolate muffins, I dug through the vegetable drawer and decided I’d make chocolate zucchini cupcakes.

I’ve made chocolate zucchini bread before and really loved it, so I knew this would be good. Also, because I didn’t go grocery shopping, these are eggless.

I guess I’m back on the We Should Cocoa muffin kick!

We_Should_Cocoa_V3

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
(source)

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1 tbsp vinegar
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp applesauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup shredded zucchini
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Prepare a muffin tin by lining it with wrappers.

2. In a small container combine the milk and vinegar. Let sit for 5 minutes.

3. In a large bowl mix together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Create a well in the middle.

4. In a smaller bowl combine the milk/vinegar mix, vegetable oil, applesauce, and vanilla. Pour into the well of the dry mixture. Mix together to ensure there are no dry spots. Fold the shredded zucchini and chocolate chips into the batter.

5. Divide the batter between the 12 muffin cups. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

* makes 12
* Besides We Should Cocoa, I’m sharing this recipe with AlphaBakes hosted by Ros and Caroline for the letter C this month! This is also being shared with Cast Party Wednesday.

AlphaBakes Logo

Pantry Party October 2013 Announcement

pantry

After taking a two month nap, Pantry Party is back! My life has returned to normalcy and I once again have time to run this challenge!

Welcome to a round up featuring recipes you cook with ingredients found in your pantry. On the 1st of each month (well, this post is going up early because I got excited) I’ll announce the pantry party challenge of the month.  All you need to do is cook something based on the theme with at least one ingredient found in your pantry. Have some pasta? Some jelly? Some sauce? Flour? Sugar? Canned foods? We all have stuff pushed in our pantries that get forgotten about, so now is the time to make use of these otherwise forgotten foods.

On the 29th of each month I will post the round-up, with all the recipes and links to your blogs showcasing your contribution to the party.

I hope you’ll join me and explore your pantries!

How to Participate:

1. Visit The Law Student’s Cookbook on the 1st of each month to find out the Pantry Challenge Theme of the month.

2. Cook up something delicious based on the theme for the month with at least one ingredient found in your pantry.

3. Post the recipe on your blog. You can submit more than one recipe in a month if you wish, but all recipes must be current. If you don’t have a blog, you can still participate! Just send me an email with a write-up of your recipe, a picture, and any other information. I’ll make a post with recipes from readers who participated.

4. You must link to the announcement post for the given month in your blog post. If you wish, you can also use the graphic above in your post or sidebar (which you can find here.)

5. Email your recipes to elizabeth@crabtech.net no later than the 28th of each month. In the email include:

* Your name

* Your blog name

* Permalink to the blog post

* A photo of your recipe or permission to pull one from the post

6. On the 29th of each month visit The Law Student’s Cookbook for the recipe round up!

The theme for October is CASSEROLE.
Make a casserole using at least one pantry item. Though I encourage you to dig to the depths of your pantry, I only require one pantry item to be present! Any type of casserole is welcome!