Monday, July 22, 2013

Kris' Kitchen

Here is what has been cooking over here at our house lately.  I have been trying to keep up with what I harvest from the garden.  The tomatoes got a little ahead of me, so I decided I better make something.  I have been making salsa with them, and this time I wanted to try sauce.
I decided not to peel them like I do for the salsa.  I just cored them and cut them in half and dropped them into my Cuisinart.  I sauteed some garlic in olive oil, and then browned several links of mild Italian Sausage,  and then added the sauce to the pan.  I didn't blend it too smooth.  I left some chunky pieces in it.   I seasoned it with salt and pepper, and a little chili powder.  To cut the acidity of the tomatoes, I stirred in two teaspoon of baking soda, and also a couple Tablespoons of sugar.  I also diced up a couple of zucchini and yellow squash to add. If I had had some red wine, I would  have also added some of that.  I let it simmer for a good hour or more, and then added a handful of chopped basil from my garden.  I served it over spaghetti for dinner, and then had a bunch left over for other meals.
I have also had a lot of zucchini, and I am sick to death of it.  But my husband really likes fried zucchini, so I made some of that.  I used panko that I seasoned with salt and pepper and garlic.  Dipped the sticks into egg first, then panko.  This did not stick very well.  I will have to try a couple of other methods next time.  But they sure were good!!
Another favorite lunch is grilled cheese and fresh tomato!  I put shaved parmesan on the buttered sourdough before grilling it.  Everything gets fresh tomato on it here these days!
I also like to make homemade pizza and top them with fresh veggies from the garden.  For individual pizzas, I use Naan bread.  Earlier in the season when I harvested my cilantro, I made a bunch of pesto and froze it in ice cube trays.  Then just popped the cubes into freezer bags.  I take out a few at a time, defrost and use this for our pizza sauce.
I load them up with whatever fresh veg I got out of the garden that day.  I have some Canadian Bacon on this one, with yellow squash, zuchinni, mushrooms, tomato, mozzarella cheese, and I bake them on a stone in a 400 degree oven.  After taking out of the oven, I like to put a handful of peppery Arugula on top, drizzle with a little olive oil, and sprinkle some sea salt and shaved parmesan.
Yesterday I had a couple over ripe bananas and made some banana nut bread.  This recipe is from an old neighbor of ours when I was growing up.   When the bread came out of the oven, she made a slit down the middle and poured 1/4 cup of melted butter over the top.  This takes this already yummy bread to a new level!!!
Here is the recipe should you like to try it yourself.
Cream together:
1 stick of butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs room temp
Add to this mixture:
2 very ripe bananas, very ripe
Blend in:
2 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Fold in:
1 cup chopped walnuts
Grease a loaf pan and pour batter into pan.  Bake at 350 for 1 hour.  Watch closely though, you may need to take it out 5 minutes earlier or later, depending on your oven.  If it is browned around edges, and pulling away from pan, it is done.  Don't over cook.  Melt butter, and make a slit in middle of loaf, pour butter right down over the top.  Unmold in 15 minutes.  Enjoy!!!!!!  
Yesterday morning I put a 5.5 pound chicken into the crockpot for dinner.  I made a rotisserie rub for it using these spices.
If you can't read the McCormick spices, they are Mesquite, Molasses Bacon, and Smokehouse Maple.   In the back I have fresh ground pepper, sea salt, granulated garlic, and Smoked Paprika.  If you haven't tried smoked paprika before, you should try it.  I love the flavor!!!  Mix in a bowl and rub all over your rinsed and patted dry chicken.
Cook on low all day, or 8 hours.  Or on high for 4 or so.  I cooked mine on low.  Don't add any liquid.  The chicken does not form a crisp skin, but the flavor is the same.  No one eats the skin anyway.  It will fall off the bone and be moist and delicious.  
I served it with the last of our corn on the cob from the garden, a green salad, and crusty french bread.
What is cooking in your kitchen lately?  
XO  Kris


Astri said...

I am moving in!

Hey, I have a great breakfast thing we do with zucchini..I will try to post about it later this week when I make it again and have a chance to take photos. It's my favorite breakfast!!!

Pammy Sue said...

I'll tell you what's cookin' in my kitchen...NOTHING that good!! Jeez, Kris. You make me look like an amateur, and I have always considered myself a really good cook!

I've never seen those Grillin Mates flavors before. I'll have to look for those. And that tomato sauce? WOWEE!! Makes my mouth water just to type that!

After seeing your last entry, the Captain and I discussed planting some cantaloupe. We're going to do it! Send me any tips you may have. Do they need full sun? And by "full sun," I mean blazing hot Texas sun that is relentless. Maybe half a day of sun and half shade?

Keep cookin' and bloggin it, girl! We had your chicken Cesar pasta salad again yesterday.

Grayseasailor said...

I just ate dinner, but viewing this post makes me want to go back for tastes of what YOU cooked, Kris!!! The baking soda in the tomato sauce is a tip I want to try. Thanks for posting :)
Gracie xx

Robyn@SimplyMe1970 said...

My goodness you've been busy! It all looks so good! Whats cookin in my kitchen? Not a thing lately..LOL.. hubby and I are both sick so it's kind of fend for yourself thing right now.. I used to make my own spaghetti sauce. I would blanch the tomatoes etc..

Kelli said...

Everything looks wonderful! I love banana bread but I want to try it with the butter on the top...sounds wonderful!

Debbie said...

Oh Kris I don't think anyone can all sounds and looks wonderful! Especially that pizza! yum..

Betsy said...

Everything looks delicious! And to think I had to buy tomatoes at the store yesterday because none are ripe yet up here in the north. The banana bread looks yummy. I thought my moms recipe was the best but, oh my, melted butter? I have to try this soon. :-)

TACIStudio said...

Everything looks so wonderful it is making me hungry ( and it's 11 pm here :)). Love the tomatoe sauce. I'll try to make some when my tomatoes start to come in.. Probably end of August. Your kitchen is looking wonderful kris! :)

Nicky said...

I am so hungry now!! Your food all looks delicious. Can I come to your house? I will knit you things and you could cook for me :D

Hanne said...

I got a problem.....when I look at your blog I get hungry :) :)

priscilla said...

Everything looks wonderful Kris ! That pizza looks amazing !

Linda said...

As you know, I always cook every night....but....with my boyfriend out of town, and me not feeling too well, I split a Pizza with Erika last night...and since we never eat take out pizza...I LOVED IT!!!
I just bought a HUGE chicken last week and put it in the freezer...I would love to try that crock pot recipe...perhaps when the weather cools
down a bit...
Time for you to put your sore aching feet up...and relax!!!

Linda :o)

Kerri said...

You are one busy lady in the kitchen! Everything looks so good! I used to make little pesto pizzas every so often but forgot about them til now...I will put it on my list- yours look amazing!
I put a flank steak with a new Mexican rub on it this morning in the crockpot...trying a recipe on Pinterest for carnita fajitas.

corners of my life said...

Oh my - can we come over for dinner?!

Nicolle said...

YUM to all of that, especially the fresh tomatoes and zucchini. We have been eating our weight in tomatoes this summer, and are just loving them. Your kitchen always feels like a happy kitchen to me! xo

45th Parallel Quilter said...

A little trick I use when frying is to dust whatever I'm frying VERY lightly with regular flour (shake off any excess) then dip in beaten egg and then in the panko. Allow to sit for about 10-15 minutes to sort of "dry" a bit and your crust will not separate when frying. Works like a charm! Love those McCormick Grilling Mates seasonings; use them often. Banana bread looks FABULOUS and I just happen to have a bunch that are too ripe!! Thanks for the inspiration ;-) Stay cool! Linda

Pam said...

Lots of good eats Kris!

Try dipping the zucchini in flour, egg, then panko and place on a wire cooling rack placed over a baking sheet then place into the fridge for 30 minutes prior to cooking. This always seems to help my panko stick to whatever I am coating it in.

Melted butter over baked banana bread? Drool worthy!

From the Kitchen said...

This just proves my point that one cannot have too many tomatoes. That sauce reminds me of my mother's which my boys love!

We lived in La Jolla for four years. It was a good choice as we purchased our first home there and sold it two years later for twice what we paid for it and in four days. In fact, we could not have afforded to buy it at the price we sold it for! Housing was expensive but there was no need for heat or ac most of the time. Food was very reasonable and fresh and delicious. We moved from there to Lubbock, TX which was a BIG change!


Carol said...

After reading your blog I'm hungry and it's only 9:25 a.m.

I would agree with Pam about rolling in flour first. That has always worked for me. Happy cooking!

Barbara F. said...

Everything looks so darn good!!! I think you need to "adopt" me. xo

Poppy said...

Hi Kris,

Why or why do you do this to me?!! I'm trying to lose a few pounds - popping over to your blog is putting them back on just looking at these delish dishes!!! Love the pizza!


Gloria Baker said...

All look amazing Kris! and I love your banana bread récipe!!

Susanne said...

What's cooking here, well soup, right out of the can, lol. The last 2 meals I cooked up I ended up walking next door and giving more that half of it to my neighbors. The other alternative is to eat the left overs for 3 days straight. I use to cook for 4, then the kids left and it was just the 2 of us, now I am down to just me, myself and I. Sometimes it is just easier to grab something quick and not make a fuss or a mess. I must say you have been busy, and I know all about that trying to keep up with the garden when it all starts to ripen at one time. It will work you silly, and you are a lot like me, I never left anything go to waste if I could help it.....somewhere in the back of my mind I could hear that little voice reminding me that someone in China was starving to death.
(((HUGS))) Susanne :)

Tania @ Out Back said...

I think it's time I paid you a visit my friend. Your kitchen is so inviting especially with all that good food!

I grate up my excess zucchini and freeze in one cup lots (put in a sandwich ziploc bags and flatten for better storage). I just grab them out during winter to add to stews, casseroles etc.


Mereknits said...

What is in my kitchen? Nothing this good. I am coming over for leftovers.

Miriam said...

I need to get back on bloggy world! I've missed all your lovely posts!
You've made me hungry with this one--yummy!

Zucchini does get a little old after a while. Can you dehydrate them in your oven and store them in your canning jars to add to winter soups later? I know health food stores sell them dehydrated.
Hope you have a great day!

Lynne said...

I have huge tomato envy. From my four plants, we have had two tomatoes so far. They are taking forever to get red.
This whole post made my mouth water. I am coming to your house girl! Everything looks delicious!

by Teresa said...

You always amaze me with your work ethic and all the things you accomplish.. Dayle is out smoking and BBQing some boneless country style pork ribs.. hope they turn out, it's his first time making them on his new pellet grill. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Jill said...

Everything looks so delicious!! What time is dinner? ;-) LOL

Have a great night!


Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

I always get hungry when I visit you, Kris!:)

I make banana bread often and I will try your recipe next time!