Saturday, June 20, 2009

Visiting the Farmer's Markets

With the economy as it is now, more and more people are encouraging to by local products and services, rather than mass produced. Support your local businesses by heading out to your nearest farmer's market! It's a great activity on the weekends, and you're sure to find some of the freshest produce around!

I picked up some peaches, sugarplums, and blueberries at this farmer's market!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Barefoot Blogging: Bonus Recipe Scones!

I was so thrilled when Em of The Repressed Pastry Chef chose Ina’s Cranberry Orange Scones for this month's Barefoot Blogging Bonus Recipe Challenge. I know that my house is a huge fan of scones, so this was a great treat to share with my mom and grandmother for breakfast.

I wanted to change the recipe by substituting the dried cranberries for dried strawberries. I kept the orange zest in and WOW that gave such a wonderful flavor to these yummy scones!

My only issue was how sticky the dough was to work with. Living in Florida in June with a 300% humidity and 100 degree temperatures outside makes it hard to make these scones. I know I must have put the dough back in the fridge a few times to keep it cool.

I finally got them looking like real scones and the final result was a flaky pastry that had bursts of orange and sweet bites of strawberries. A great choice!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Barefoot Backtracking: Pesto, Peas, and Pasta!

Since I seemed to be lacking the ingredients for the Curried Cous Cous chosen by Ellyn of Recipe Collector and Tester, I decided to utilize the "Barefoot Backtracking" option and go for a recipe that I wasn't able to particapte in since I just joined in March! I scanned the past recipes page and I heard the "DING!" go off in my head when I saw the Pesto and Peas Pasta salad.

Being that I live in Florida, I enjoy going to the beach on my days off. I normally go with a group of friends, and we take turns making lunch. I made this recipe so that it can withstand being in a cooler all day at the beach or outside at a summer picnic. Since I was making this for an entree, I roasted some chicken in the oven Ina style, with rib-in chicken breasts. It really does give the chicken great flavor and keeps the moisture in!

Making this dish was very simple, and easy enough for kids to assist with! You can make it with the pasta of your choice. I went for the swirly noodles because they are so whimisical and fun to look at. Cook and drain the pasta and toss in a tablespoon or two of olive oil. Set aside until cool.

I had some frozen peas stashed in the freezer, so I took them and boiled them in salted water for 2 minutes, and drained and shocked in an ice bath to retain the vivid green color. Put your cooled pasta and peas into a mixing bowl and add 5-6 tablespoons of prepared pesto (I find it in a jar in the refridgerated pasta section!), and about 1/2 cup of grated parmesean, and 2 tablespoons of toasted pine nuts. Toss until combined, add more pesto as needed! This would also be the time to add the chopped chicken breasts. Serve and enjoy!