Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Back in the Saddle

You may have noticed that my blog posts have been a little thin on the ground the last few months. My apologies. Over the last few months there has been a noticable spike in the demands from the other parts of my life. I must admit that when it came to dinner, I was not above the occasional can of Beefaroni. I may even have a box or two of Spiderman Kraft Macaroni 'n' Cheese in my pantry, right now. That's right. While fresh and natural is always the best choice, sometimes, I just don't have the energy to clean, chop or saute. Sometimes I need to open a can and bless my microwave. However, several months of this kind of eating has not done good things for my health or my general living habits. Therefore, I spent the better part of a day this weekend, combing through my cookbooks and cooking magazines for some new directions.

Summer Tomato and Bell Pepper Soup. Comforting and familiar flavor combo, but ultimately gave me a wicked hankerin' for a true gazpacho.

This simple soup is ideal for those nights when you just can't bear to turn on the stove. Other than being pretty generous with the application of my goat cheese garnish,  I followed fairly closely to the recipe. Usually, when I make a recipe for the first time, I follow it closely to make sure I know how it is supposed to taste, before I change it to how I want it to taste. I served the soup as a side with sirloin steaks and onion and red pepper confit.

Grilled Chicken Breasts with Honeydew Salsa 

While just about everyone on the planet would prefer chicken with the skin on, I just couldn't bring myself to use anything but skinless. I love me some crispy chicken, but I still have some foodcation pounds that don't need any help sticking around.

The salsa was delicious. Because I was only cooking for myself and my boyfriend, I grilled half as much chicken, but made a full batch of salsa. (I really like sauces. A lot). This is a wonderful dinner for a hot summer night. I used a jalapeno, but doubled the amount listed in the recipe. As everyone knows, not all chiles are created equal, so it is important to test the strength and spiciness of one's chiles while cooking. For this reason, and because I like my dishes spicy, I always feel free to play with the amount of chiles I use. However, I still think this recipe could have stood a bit more heat, but overal this recipe is a good bet.

Apple Galette. A trusty standby.

Frankly, I cheated a bit. I've made this recipe many times, but I had a frozen Whole Foods pie crust taking up space in my freezer and a bunch of Granny Smiths that were this side of mealy. I had to make something out of them and a galette sprung to mind.

I love this recipe because it is so easy and versatile. I like to think of galettes as a lazy baker's pie. It doesn't have the same level of juiciness that a pie would, but it fills that need and takes a fraction of the time. I only had raspberry preserves in the fridge, hence the purple tinge. Previously, I've made it with marmalade instead of apricot preserves. (Sadly, my boyfriend does not like apricots. Weird, right?) You can really use whatever apples and jellies you have on hand. It is so easy and looks deceptively fancy with the apple slices arranged in concentric circles. Go to it!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your galette is gorgeous!