Monthly Archives: August 2011

Blackberry Pie

My dad went blackberry picking down by his office and tasked me to make some pies. Well, I made two blackberry pies. We had a pre-made pie crust, but I did make one from scratch. We kept the homemade pie and my dad took the other one to his office. ūüôā

If you haven’t seen our pie crust recipe then you should go look at it now! It’s the best one we’ve found and it’s simple and pretty much foolproof.

Here’s the recipe I used for the filling. (I would recommend serving with vanilla ice-cream and a cup of milk, but you could always use frozen yogurt if you wanted to have less calories.)

Ingredients:

4 cups fresh blackberries
3/4 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons flour
Cinnamon (to taste, 1/2 Tablespoon)
1/8 teaspoon salt
a few drops of lemon juice 

Recipe:

1. Place blackberries in bowl.

2. Pour in sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt.

3. Combine by mixing with spoon.

4. Place in pie crust.

5. Dot with lemon juice.

6. Complete crust and bake the pie!

7. Enjoy!

Post by: Melissa
Photos by: Melissa


Seafood Linguine

I’ve been at home for the past week and we haven’t really been cooking much. It’s been freezer-this and sandwich or soup-from-a-can that. But over the weekend I had a chance to make one of my favorite go-to easy dinners that tastes like it could come from a restaurant. I call this “seafood linguine”, because you can use shrimp, scallops, or other types of seafood (a shrimp/scallop combo might be nice) and it is very versatile. I haven’t tried it, but I think you could even do this with chicken. We served this with parmesan cheese toast on the side and corn on the cob.

Ingredients:

1/2-1 pound of shrimp
One tomato
6 white ( or crimini) mushrooms
3 cloves of garlic
Cilantro (to taste)
Olive oil (for cooking)
Linguine 

Recipe:

1. Heat olive oil in pan. Once hot, add minced garlic.

2. Cook garlic to a golden color and add the chopped mushrooms.

3. Add peeled shrimp and cook thoroughly.

4. Add the chopped tomato and simmer over low heat.

5. Add the cilantro and reduce heat until wilted.

6. Enjoy!

Post by: Melissa
Photos by: Melissa


Home made croutons

Here is a simple but delicious recipe for croutons. I made some for a stew we made last week.

Ingredients:
Day old bread
Olive oil
Pepper

Recipe:
Step 1.
Cut day old bread into cubes, I had some left over bread with roasted garlic in it from Haggen. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and get a baking sheet out to put bread on.


Step 2. Season the bread with olive oil and pepper. You can use other herbs or spices too, but I wanted to keep these ones simple since the bread was so good.

Step 3. Bake in oven at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or until the bread is crunchy. Flip about half way through to make a nice brown on both sides.

This is a really simple way to make your own croutons and you don’t have to spend a lot of money. They also absorb soup and dressing very well so you can get a nice crunch and have the soup flavor in them.

Post by: Colin
Photos by: Colin


Lentil Soup

Colin and I have never made soup together before, though he has made soup on his own. We decided to make a lentil soup which is very simple, though the cooking time is a bit longer than a normal dish. This is a great meal to start cooking a few hours before you want to have dinner and the leftovers are fantastic. You want to slow-cook this so that all of the flavors will be released into the soup.

You can really get creative with this recipe and add what vegetables are readily available in your area, try different types of soup stock, and make it with or without sausage/meat. ūüôā

Ingredients

One container chicken stock (or other soup stock)
One leek
1/2 an onion, chopped
3-5 cloves of garlic, chopped
One small can tomato paste
One can diced tomatoes
Two chopped potatoes
2-3 cups of uncooked lentils
1 T. each cumin, thyme, (slightly less) salt, pepper
Vegetable oil (for cooking)
One kielbasa sausage (optional)
Croutons for topping (optional)
Grated cheese for topping (optional)

Recipe

1. In a large pot, spread vegetable oil and begin to sweat the onions.

2. Add garlic and the leek.

3. Add your cannned tomatoes and some of the chicken broth. Stir to combine.

4. Add your meat (optional) and more chicken broth.

5. Add the tomato paste (this thickens the soup and gives it a richer flavor)

6. Add your lentils, cumin and whatever other spices you wish to add. We added cumin, salt, pepper, and thyme.

7. If you want, add potatoes. (These take a while to become tender.)

8. Stir everything together and cook over low-medium heat until it smells delicious and the lentils are soft enough to enjoy. We served our soup in bowls with homemade croutons and grated cheese over top.

P.S. This is my favorite soup ever.

Post by: Melissa
Photos by: Colin and Melissa


Cilantro and pepita pesto

Hey all so we will start putting out posts on MWF every week, because it will be easier for Melissa and I. We will also be submitting pictures to foodgawker so look there for them!

I made this pesto as a way to make a cheap, but very tasty pesto. Pine nuts and basil just cost too much, so I took them out!
This pesto goes really well on any pasta. I’ve made about three batches so far. I put some on a BLT, on spaghetti noodles and even in mac and cheese.

Ingredients:
2 cups of cilantro (I removed them stems and dried them off before using them)
3 to 4 medium cloves of garlic (makes it strong, less for a less strong taste)
1/4 cup pepitas (you can find them in the bulk foods, they are pumpkin seeds)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup cotija cheese
pepper and salt to taste

Recipe:
Step 1.
Wash cilantro; prepare garlic and pepitas

Step 2. Give 5 2-second pulses in a food processor to mix the ingredients together. This will happen pretty quick; be sure to scrape down the sides.

Step 3. Pour olive oil in while blending until it reaches the texture you want, scraping sides again as needed.

Step 4. Add cheese, pepper and salt.

Step 5. Blend again until everything is smooth and mixed. You can store this for up to 6 weeks in the refrigerator or 2 -3 months in the freezer.

Post by Colin
Photos by Colin


Bite of Bellingham

I graduated from Western on Saturday! We have been very busy lately with the end of the quarter and packing to move at the end of the month. It’s been harder to spend time on cooking. However, today we went to the Bite of Bellingham downtown on the corner of Holly and Cornwall.

There were a lot of restaurants represented there, including The Table, La Vie en Rose, Mount Bakery, Jeckyl and Hyde, Veg Express, India Grill, Bayou on Bay, food by Haggen, El Agave, Rocket Donuts, Boundary Bay, Man Pies, Pure Bliss, Brandywine Kitchen, QQ Li’s, Silver Reef, the Copper Hog, the Co-Op and Cicchitti’s Pizza. We decided to go places that we hadn’t been to together. Here’s what we had!

1. Bayou on Bay

Sweet BBQ Pork Bun:

Key Lime Bar:

2. Cicchitti’s Pizza

Pepperoni Pizza slice:

3. Jeckyl and Hyde Alehouse

Smoked pull pork slider:

Sausage Chili:

4. La Vie En Rose

Ice cream sandwich:

5. Mount Bakery

Lemon Tart with fresh blueberries:

6. The Table by Bellingham Pasta Co.

Ravioli with brown butter sage:

Bison Pork meatball:

Tickets for food were $1 each and each dish had a different ticket price, ranging from 1-7 tickets. We mainly got small ticket items.

You could also vote for your favorites in different categories like sweets, drinks, etc.

Colin’s top 3

1. Bayou on bay pork bun
2. Bison pork meatball
3. Jeckyl and Hyde pulled pork

Melissa’s top 3

1. Bison pork meatball
2. Ravioli with brown butter sage
3. Sausage chili

We are going to try to start posting 3 times a week, M/W/F. Wish us luck!

Post by: Melissa and Colin
Photos by: Colin and Melissa


Home seasoned spicy chicken wings

Melissa and I love chicken wings. During the past school year we would make many runs during happy hour to our favorite wing spot in Bellingham where they just have great spice. Melissa and I could scarf a plate of 6 down in minutes and love the spicy after burn. So when I suggested we try making our own Melissa happily agreed.
We also made a side of zucchini and carrot fritters to help balance out the spice.

Ingredients:
5 to 6 chicken wings (can buy package of 20 for about 5 bucks)

Marinade:
2 serrano chiles
1 teaspoon red cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon hot chile (I used my secret blend)
4 to 5 leaves of pineapple sage
your favorite BBQ sauce

Bread crumb mixture:
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/8 flour
pepper to taste 

Recipe:
Step 1.
Combine chicken with all marinade ingredients. Put in fridge for 3 hours to let the chicken absorb the seasonings and sauce.

I couldn’t resist putting in one picture of pineapple sage. This herb is refreshing in these wings because it adds a nice subtle tangy flavor that mellows out the spice and heat.

Step 2. Cut up serrano peppers. Remove seeds if you want less heat.

Step 3. Add serranos to chicken mixture.

Step 4. Prepare bread mixture in bowl. Roll wings around in mixture. Put oil in a pan and heat up to medium high heat.

Step 5. Pan fry chicken wings until bread crumbs become a dark brown. Flip and do the same on the other side. Remove chicken from skillet and let rest for one minute before adding sauce on top.

Enjoy the wings. They get very messy, but can only be enjoyed with your fingers!

We also plated these with the zucchini and carrot fritters we also made. These were delicious and a great way to balance the spice.

Enjoy!

Post by Colin and Melissa
Photos by Colin and Melissa


Zucchini and carrot fritters

One Thanksgiving I wanted to create a healthy dish I knew my family would enjoy eating and would be different from the usual fare of holiday food. I also wanted to create something with vegetables that were common but still delicious. That is how these fritters were born.

Ingredients:
3 medium zucchini
2 large carrots
1/2 cup flour
1/4 olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Recipe:
Step 1. Prepare veggies by washing and cutting off ends. Do not cut in half because it will make it hard to grate.

Step 2. Grate the zucchini and carrot and put in a large mixing bowl.

Step 3. Add flour, olive oil, pepper and salt and start to mix. You want to be able to form patties with these so make sure they stick together well. The mixture should be pretty thick and stick to a fork when mixing.

Step 4. Form patties and set aside on a separate plate. Heat up oil in a pan and pour enough so there is about 1/4 inch of oil in the pan. You can make the fritters any size you want, I prefer 3 bite sized ones.

Step 5. Pan fry fritters on medium high heat. The goal is to get the fritters to have a nice crispy outsides and a soft chewy inside. Cook on the first side for 5 to 8 minutes and flip for another 5 to 8. Set aside on a baking sheet with a paper towel under to let the excess oil run off.

Post by: Colin
Photos by: Colin


Inspiration for our ciabatta sandwiches

One of my favorite places to go when I am visiting home from college is Grinders. There food is superb. All the sandwiches on the menu have been on my plate at same point, but my favorite is a toss up between a catfish po’ boy and the ciabatta grinder.

The food is prepared fresh and the smell of garlic is everywhere. This place inspired my pesto ciabatta sandwiches. While I could not dream to duplicate the great food they serve here I feel every time I come here to eat I think of something new to try.

Here are some pictures from what Melissa and I ate there.

Melissa loves the blend of pesto, cheese and cherry tomatoes that ooze out of this sandwich.

Meanwhile I buried myself in fried catfish and spicy coleslaw with some spicy peppers. Delicious!

Have you ever tried Grinders? Tell me what your favorite sandwich is here and why.

Post by Colin
Photos by Colin


Blueberry pie!

So here is the product of most of the blue berries we picked last week. For the crust use the recipe Melissa posted last month.

Ingredients:
3 cups blueberries
1/4 cup of flour
1/2 sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice (more if lots of powder left after mixing)
1 tablespoon cinnamon

Recipe:
Step 1
. Put all ingredients in a large bowl. Make sure berries are dry (if they have been freshly washed it can throw off the mixture and make your pie runny). Heat oven to 425 degrees.

Step 2. Mix dry ingredients so they evenly coat the blueberries. There will probably be a lot of flour/sugar in the bottom of the mixture. This is okay because you can pour it on top of the mixture when you put the filling in the crust.

Step 3. Put filling in the crust and put the top crust layer on. Be sure to poke a lot of vent holes in so that the berries can let off steam. If you have extra dry ingredients in the mixture bowl put them on top of the pie before the second crust is put on.

Step 4. Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown. A lot of people suggest putting foil around the edges of the crust to make it not get crispy, but I have never minded the crisp edge. After the pie is done baking, let it set overnight so the filling can cool and stay firm enough.

I’d also suggest to put a baking sheet under the pie to catch any berry juices that might bubble out during the baking.

Post by: Colin and Melissa
Photos by: Colin