Welcome to One Little Corner of the World. I share with you new recipes, some family recipes, and the antics of my kids. Enjoy reading!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Nature and weather

I just had to post these two pictures. The birds and living in our satalite dish - my husband had taken the nest out, but the birds built again, and before he could find it, there were eggs in it. The boys like to look and see what the babies are doing. We try to not get very close, so we don't scare the mama.

Here in the midwest, there has been tons of rain. I mean lots of rain. I have no idea when it is going to stop. Anyway we live across the street from woods and a creek. The other night, while looking at how the water was flooding the yard, we noticed a crawfish crawling on our driveway. I had to take a picture as I had never seen a crawfish running around our yard. We sent him back to the creek. What whacky weather!!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

More Pasta Salad – Bow tie Pasta Salad

Okay, so I am making another pasta salad. My family and I are taking a little trip to our time share near Herman MO. soon. We always try to bring some already prepared food for our trip. Last year we brought Tuna Pasta Salad. Trying new dishes is fun, and this one was no exception. I found the recipe in Woman's World magazine. Each time I look through the magazine, I find a recipe that I want to try. This one just looked pretty, and I had all the ingredients on hand. I did, however, forget to put onions in the dish – I think that would have added a nice touch. If I make it for the trip, which I probably will, I will have to remember to put them in

Instead of cooking the chicken in a skillet, I had my husband grill the meat outside. Not having any Greek seasoning, I substituted Turkish seasoning from Penzeys – I love that store. Next time I make it – and I will make it again, I will use different pasta, just for a different shape. I thought that the chicken and the pasta were very close to the same shape – flat. Maybe I am strange; I just want my food to be three-dimensional.

Bow-Tie Chicken Salad
8 oz bow tie pasta
1 lb asparagus – tough ends trimmed, cut into 2-inch long pieces
1 lb boneless chicken breast halves
1 tsp dried Greek seasoning
1 tbsp + ¼ cup olive oil
1 tbsp lemon zest – fresh
6 tbsp lemon juice – I used fresh
¾ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
½ tsp sugar
½ cup chopped fresh dill
4 cups baby spinach leaves – 4 oz
½ cup thinly sliced red onion
½ cup crumbled feta cheese

Lemon slices

Cook pasta according to directions adding asparagus during last three minutes. Drain, rinse to cool.

Sprinkle chicken with seasoning. In large non-stick skillet, heat 1 tbsp oil over medium high heat. Add chicken; cook turning once, until cooked through, 7-8 minutes. Let chicken stand 10 minutes; slice ½" pieces.

In bowl, whisk next five ingredients and remaining oil; add dill. Toss spinach with three tbsp dressing; place on platter. Add pasta, asparagus, chicken and onion to remaining dressing; toss. Spoon over spinach. Sprinkle with feta and garnish with lemons.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Taste and Create

Each month, For the Love of Food hosts the event, Taste and Create. Bloggers are paired with each other and the object is to prepare a dish from your partner's blog. This is my first month participating in Taste and Create. My partner for this month from More Than Burnt Toast is a mom from Canada. If you get a chance, go visit her blog; not only does she have some great recipes, her pictures are wonderful and her blog is full of great posts. I especially like the one honoring her mother.

For my dish I created Mediterranean Pasta with Ricotta and Feta. While my picture doesn't do justice to the dish, it was wonderful. After reading other posts from Taste and Create, I learned that lots of bloggers change the recipe a little bit to suit their tastes or suit what's in their fridge at the time. I am the opposite - I always follow the recipe to the "T" the first time. After, if I need to I change it to suit my family. This recipe, however, is very good and I won't change anything. After I made it, I took it accross the street to my neighbor - she called me a little while ago to tell me it was a winner. She is often my cooking guinia pig and I value her opinion.

This is a really nice light pasta salad that is great by itself for a quick lunch or dinner, or it can be paired with a light meat such as chicken. I also think grilled chicken could be added to the salad for those who love meat - like my husband. What follows is the recipe. I really enjoyed my first Taste and Create. What I really like about this dish is the cheese. Using ricotta in a cold pasta salad is new for me and I really enjoyed the flavor.

**Mediterranean Pasta Salad with Ricotta & Feta**

1/2 large red onion, (about 5 ounces), finely chopped
1/4 cup + 2 T fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh oregano leaves (or, use 1 T dried oregano)
3 T finely chopped fresh dill, (or, use 2 tsp dried dill)
2 T red wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

For the salad:

1 pound fusilli (corkscrew) or penne pasta
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes (or approximately two dozen), halved
1 English cucumber (about 12 ounces) quartered lengthwise,then sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick (alternatively, use 2 medium cucumbers, peel and seed them, cut as directed)
1 cup kalamata olives, (about 4 ounces) pitted and halved
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste1-
1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes (optional)
3/4 cup (6 ounces) ricotta cheese3/4 cup (4 ounces) crumbled California cow's milk Feta cheese1 ounce crumbled Feta cheese, for garnish

Combine all dressing ingredients except for the oil, salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in the oil until it is thoroughly combined with the other ingredients. Season with salt and pepper. Let stand for at least 30 minutes. (Can be made the day before and refrigerated.)

Bring 3 quarts of water and 1 tablespoon of kosher salt to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for 10 minutes, or until the pasta is tender but still slightly firm to the bite. Drain (do not rinse) and let cool to room temperature, mixing occasionally. When cool, place in a large bowl and add the dressing. Using a wooden spoon, gently mix until the dressing is well distributed. Add the remaining ingredients except salt and pepper and 1 ounce of Feta for garnish. Let stand for 1/2 hour. Mix well and season with salt and pepper. Top with remaining crumbled Feta and serve.

Serves 8
TIP: You may omit the salt depending on the saltiness of your feta

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Strawberry Festival

Each year in our community there is a Strawberry Festival put on by the local UCC church. It is a one day event that includes more than just strawberries. The other big draw is a bike ride around town and into the country. If that weren't enough, there is music, crafts, and other food. Each year our family goes to the festival to eat strawberries, brats, and enjoy visiting with friends and family. It is one of the first events of spring; I look forward to it each year.

This year was different for our family. We started attending the UCC church this past fall, and for the first time we got to work at the festival. I really enjoyed being a part of this. It was a beautiful day - very windy - the strawberries were sweet and juicy. The brats were great and I ended up going to Korte to get some of the same brats so we could grill them at home. I am so glad spring seems to finally be arriving in our area.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Working on my Blog

I am working on making my blog more appealing to people. I notice some blogs that have wonderful pictures on the top of their blog and I have no idea how to get those on my page. For example, Equal Opportunity Kitchen has a really nice header. Elle's New England Kitchen has a very nice header as well. If anyone has suggestions for me I would appreciate it very much.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Montauk Seafood Salad Pasta

Ok, so last night I made Ina Garten's Montauk Seafood Salad and wasn't bowled over by it. Since I had a lot left over, I decided to make Montauk Seafood Salad Pasta - that is a mouthful. Anyway I took the salad out of the fridge and brought it to room temperature. Before I put the salad in the skillet, I sauted 3 cloves of garlic in some of the extra olive oil mixture. I then added about 3/4 cup white wine to the skillet, reduced it by about 1/3 and added the salad. While I was doing that, my pasta (linguini) was happily cooking on the stove. Once the pasta was cooked and the salad was warmed up, I tossed the noodles with the sauce, added parsely, salt, pepper, and mizithra cheese - I know, I know, the Italians never add cheese to their seafood sauce. It wasn't much cheese, and it added another wonderful flavor.

It was sooooo good. My husband told me to skip the salad next time and go straight to the pasta. He just really liked it a lot. I really don't know what it was about the salad that didn't work, I usually really like Ina's food, but this time........it isn't that it was bad, it just wasn't worth the money that was invested to make it.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Montauk Seafood Salad

Have you ever seen something on tv, thought to yourself, "Hey, that looks really great!" and made it only to not be totally overwhelmed by it? I have seen Ina Garten make Montauk Seafood Salad twice now, and I decided to try it for myself. Usually her recipes are wonderful, but this time, I felt there was something missing in this dish. I am not sure if the fault lies with the recipe or with the cook; either way, I wasn't bowled over.

The shrimp and scallops were boiled in salted vinegar water, and the mussels were steamed in water. The sauce was warmed olive oil infused with lemon zest, garlic, and thyme, lemon juice, white wine vinager, salt and pepper. Celery and parsely finished off the dish

I wonder if I didn't infuse the oil long enough. That is where most of the flavor for the dish is. I have leftovers and I am going to make pasta with them tomorrow. I will be adding something to the dish, but I am not sure what. I know I will be adding more garlic and lemon. The salad wasn't bad by any means, but I know it can be more flavorful.