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Hello Hello.  We have recently returned from our family vacation in Virginia Beach.  What fun we had visiting Josh’s family!  I love watching my children build bonds with their grandparents!  Cia is at the perfect age to engage in all the silly fun, using her ever expanding vocabulary, and showing off her talents.  Calen, aka mr. chill, was happily along for the ride.  Josh was able to surf most days, which was perfect.  The man needs his surf and there was a storm off the coast bringing in the waves.  I’m still thanking the surf gods.  The rest of us enjoyed lounging on the beach.  The waves were too rough to take the kids in the ocean and I only made it in once.  A duck dive filled swim out as the waves crashed over me, but once I was beyond them it was fun to float for a bit.  And the dolphins came close and said hello.   I was hoping Cia would be able to swim but she was more than content playing in the inflatable pool we brought down to the beach.  This is seriously the best idea for young kids.  Calen loved playing in the water too.

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Vacations always go too fast and I can’t wait until the naps ‘dictating our schedule’ phase starts to fade out so we can fit a bit more in.  But I have no complaints and it was a great to be near the ocean again.  And speaking of the ocean we ate as much local seafood as we could.  Josh and I went into this trip knowing we were going to eat fish just about every night.  And that’s exactly what we did.  We ate tuna few times, grilled at home and also at our favorite taco joint.  Flounder grilled one night for something different.  And rockfish!  Oh how I love rockfish.  It doesn’t come cheap but I knew we needed to enjoy it one night.  So I jumped on planning this meal and made a pasta dish with grilled vegetables, shrimp, and rockfish.  It was wonderful!  The pictures I took with my phone so they aren’t great quality but this dish was too good not to share.

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Cia’s crying has become a common theme of our family photos. I promise she really is happy until the camera comes out.

Rockfish and Shrimp Pasta

  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup parsley
  • 1/4 cup olive oil + more
  • juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • s&p
  • 1 lb rockfish
  • 1 1/2 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 ears corn, shucked
  • 1 large zucchini, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1 large yellow squash, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1 large sweet onion, peel leaving end to hold onion together and slice in half lengthwise
  • 3 cups arugula leaves
  • pack of cherry tomatoes, I used Kumato
  • pecorino romano, lots!
  • 10 oz chia fettuccine, I used Al Dente brand
  1. Food process garlic clove until minced.  Add in basil leaves, parley, lemon juice, and 1/4 cup olive oil.  Pulse until everything is well combined and chopped.
  2. Coat rockfish, shrimp, corn, zucchini, yellow squash, and onion with basil mixture.  Note – mix seafood and vegetables separately.  I used two containers: fish and shrimp in one, and all the vegetables in another.  Cover and place in fridge a few hours ahead of time to marinate.
  3. Grill rockfish, shrimp, zucchini, yellow squash, corn, and onion.  Lightly char the zucchini and yellow squash cooking until just tender.  The onion will take the longest, cook until soft all the way through and lightly blackened.  Char all sides of the corn.  Grill shrimp either on skewers or in a grill bowl – we used a grill bowl.  And grill rockfish, skin side down, without flipping, until cooked through.  Josh was awesome and grilled for me!
  4. Meanwhile cook pasta according to package.
  5. Half cherry tomatoes and roughly chop arugula.
  6. Chop grilled zucchini, yellow squash, and onion.  Slice corn off the cob.
  7. In a large bowl mix the noodles, chopped vegetables, and lemon zest.  Add olive oil as necessary.  Season generously with pecorino romano and with s&p.  Stir in arugula, cherry tomatoes, and shrimp.  Top with more pecorino romano.  Lightly flake rockfish and lay over pecorino romano.
  8. Try not to eat too much!

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Not to be fooled, this was taken just before the tears arrived.

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Thanks Nannie and Zeyde for a great visit!

Salad Nicoise

August 17th, 2014 | Posted by eatingwithsporks in Salads | Seafood - (0 Comments)

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Our garden is booming these days.  I love it!  We put a lot of time, energy, and love into our space – wherever that may be, and it’s such a beautiful thing to see the reward when it’s a garden.  For many of our recent meals I walk out and pick a handful of chard right before dinner, steam it, and eat a large bowl with balsamic vinegar.  Not worth posting as a meal but worth talking about!  There’s nothing better than garden fresh greens.  Delish!

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This salad is full of yumminess.  The greens, dill, and carrot are from our garden.  The beans from a local farm.  Eggs from the town next to us.  Our tomatoes are starting to come in but the picked ones weren’t ripe for this salad, they are organic heirlooms though.  If only we had an avocado tree outside!  When making a salad nicoise I always spend a little extra and buy top shelf tuna.  My go to brand is Tonnino tuna fillets.  The fish has great texture and flavor.  For dressing I made my roasted garlic ‘caesar’, serving it on the side.  This salad did not disappoint!

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Salad Nicoise

  • greens
  • fresh dill
  • green beans, steamed/blanched/chilled
  • hard boiled egg
  • tomato
  • carrot
  • avocado
  • olives
  • tuna
  1. Assemble all ingredients on a plate.  Greens on the base topped with fresh dill, tuna in the middle, and each other ingredient placed around the tuna.
  2. Serve with a side of dressing.

Caesar Dressing (makes about 1 cup)

  • 2 bulbs garlic, roasted (you can easily use one bulb instead)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon dijon styled mustard
  • 2 anchovies
  • 1 heaping tablespoon capers
  • s&p
  1. Remove roasted garlic cloves from bulbs and place in food processor with olive oil.  Blend until smooth adding a bit more olive oil if necessary.
  2. Add 1/2 the lemon juice, mustard, anchovies, capers, and season with s&p.  Pulse.  Taste and add more lemon juice if desired, I added a bit more.  Refrigerate until serving.

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Things slowed down this past week.  We recently lost a dear friend.  I’m not going to elaborate here but I felt the need to pull out and take a little time to myself.  Well it’s never time to myself, but time with me and my children and with Josh when he wasn’t at work.  It seemed every time my mind wasn’t occupied I immediately thought of our friend.  There are so many questions I want answered with no answers to come.  I’m slowly losing this mind ‘preoccupation’, but I still think of him often.  I dreamt of him last night, one of many times since his passing.  It lightens my sadness a bit after each dream.  Our friend died young, too young, but I truly feel he fulfilled his life purpose during his time.

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Now as I am moving back into the daily routine of life my meal creativity is coming back.  It’s too hot to cook extended meals in the oven, to spend long periods of time in the kitchen prepping, or to eat heavy foods.  This lasagna is my solution.  A no oven noodle free lasagna!  Patty pan squashes are in abundance around town and I purchase them every time we hit the farmer’s market.  Their shape is too fun!  So this is my play on a zucchini noodle lasagna.  Local heirloom tomatoes instead of tomato sauce, ground turkey, and ricotta cheese all layered on sautéd patty pan squashes.  With plenty of basil and oregano from the garden.

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Summer Lasagna (serves 2)

  • 12 oz ground turkey
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, finely celery
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup water
  • s&p
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons oregano leaves
  • 2 large patty pans
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 4 small tomatoes, sliced into thin rounds.
  • pecorino romano, to serve
  1. Heat up a medium sauté pan with 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Add carrots, celery, and onion.  Sauté a few minutes until fragrant.  Add the ground turkey and brown.
  2. Once meat is cooked through season with s&p and garlic powder.  Add tomato paste and water.  I didn’t measure but I’d say it was about 1/4 cup.  You can use less.  Let simmer until water is cooked off.
  3. Meanwhile chop patty pans.  The best way I can describe how I do this is to half them lengthwise and then make 1/4″ wedges, still cutting lengthwise.
  4. In another large sauté pan heat up remaining tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat.  Add the patty pans and cover.  Cook 5 minutes.  Remove lid and stir.  Patty pans should be about tender crisp.  If not cover and cook a few more minutes.  Stir in fresh basil and oregano.  Season with s&p.
  5. Layer patty pans in bowls.  Top with ground turkey mixture, ricotta cheese, and fresh tomato slices.  Serve with fresh grated pecorino romano.

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I love the versatility of eggs.  Lately we’ve been eating lots and lots of hard boiled eggs.  Mainly because we feed Calen a yolk almost daily.  For the rest of us I decided it was time to switch it up.  We all know eggs are mainly served as a breakfast food.  I do think this is a good thing since protein is a beneficial way jump start your body for the day.  But eggs are wonderful for any meal.  For us this was dinner.  I harvested a huge pile of swiss chard and served it lightly steamed with the frittata.  Don’t mind my poor quality iPhone picture of the chard.

IMG_6489In the frittata I used wild Alaskan salmon, local mushrooms, lots of chives from our garden, local goat cheese, and pecorino romano.  I made this early enough for to Cia to have for her dinner.  I find frittata’s can be served at room temperature, which is how Josh and I ate ours.  Cia gobbled up her piece being a fish lover just like her parents.  And Calen seems to be same, enjoying a little salmon I cooked separately for his dinner.  I love my kids!

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Salmon and Mushroom Frittata

  • 1/2 lb salmon, skin removed and sliced into 1″ cubes
  • 8 oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 3-4 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 2 oz lightly crumbled goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh grated pecorino romano + a bit more
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • s&p
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  1. Preheat oven to 350º.
  2. In a medium bowl blend together eggs using a fork.  Add milk and season with s&p.  Stir in salmon cubes, fresh chives, 1/4 cup pecorino romano, and crumbled goat cheese.
  3. In an 8″ skillet heat up butter over medium high heat.  Once hot add the mushrooms and sear.  Turn off heat.
  4. Add the egg mixture slowly to evenly pour over the mushrooms.  Top with a little more fresh grated pecorino romano.
  5. Place in the oven and cook 20-30 minutes, until center is cooked through.  (I was dealing with kids and cooked mine closer to 30 minutes, I thought it was slightly on the dry side).

** My skillet is very seasoned so I didn’t need to add any extra butter to prevent the frittata from sticking.  But if yours is not consider coating the base and sides with a little more butter once the mushrooms have been seared.  You can also cook this frittata in a buttered pie or pyrex dish if you do not have an oven safe pan.

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Asian Beef Noodle Bowl

August 1st, 2014 | Posted by eatingwithsporks in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

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Noodle bowls are one of my top Asian foods.  I love all the different flavors and textures – raw vegetables, rice noodles, marinated protein, and fresh herbs.  Normally you find noodles bowls in Vietnamese restaurants served with a nuac cham sauce.  I went for a more Korean inspired bowl using kimchi as the ‘sauce’.  I’m not one for spicy food but there’s something about the flavor that I just can’t resist.  My friend’s grandmother is Korean and makes an incredible kimchi.  It’s as delicious as kimchi comes, and we were lucky enough to receive a large jar!  Thank you Bachan!!!!

I marinated strips of a flank steak for most of the day in a mixture of tamari, ginger, garlic, green onion, and rice wine.  Flank steak only takes a few minutes to cook so this meal comes together pretty quick.  In the bowl I used fresh greens from our garden, rice noodles mixed with garden Thai basil, julienned local carrots, julienned cucumber, bean sprouts, cilantro leaves, and of course kimchi!  To make the slicing of my vegetables easy I use a mandolin.  Saves so much time and energy trying to cut uniform strips.  This meal is one of my recent favorites!

IMG_6476Asian Beef Noodle Bowl (2 bowls)

  • 1/2 lb flank steak
  • 1/8 cup tamari
  • 1/8 cup Braag liquid aminos
  • 1″ knob fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 green onions, sliced into thin rounds
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar (or any other sugar)
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • s&p
  • 1 cucumber, julienned – medium blade
  • 1 carrot, julienned – small blade
  • few handfuls lettuce
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 4 oz rice noodles
  • 1/4 cup minced Thai basil.
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
  • kimchi
  1. Slice flank steak into 1″ strips agains the grain.  Mix marinade – tamari, liquid aminos, ginger, garlic, sugar, red pepper flakes, green onion, and rice wine.  Tamari is salty so I used half tamari half liquid aminos.  You can use all tamari if you prefer.  Season steak with s&p, place in a glass tupperware and add marinade.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  2. Heat grill.
  3. Meanwhile cook noodles according to package and rinse well and drain.  Toss with Thai basil and set aside.
  4. Grill beef 2 minutes per side, achieving a nice sear.  Meat should be medium rare.  Remove from grill and set aside.
  5. Assemble bowl.. noodles, cucumber, lettuce, carrots, bean sprouts, beef, and kimchi all arranged in a circle.  Top with cilantro leaves.