Thursday, July 26, 2012

Summer Indoor Picnic Time!

Marinated Portobello Sliders with Sun Dried Tomato Pesto, and Sweet Potato Fries

It's July, and it's summer time, and that means that it's the perfect time of year for some picnic-ing. And I love me a great picnic! So even though it was a Friday evening after an exhausting week of work,   I still had me a little picnic, indoors. I dusted off my George Foreman grill, and got to work on this simple and completely satisfying meal.

I marinated these mini portobello mushrooms in a mix of teriyaki, light soy sauce, fresh garlic, olive oil, black pepper, and some lime juice. Let them sit for a few hours, covered, in the fridge. And when it came time to start dinner, I simply grilled them on my countertop grill...

While the mushrooms are working, I baked up some sweet potato fries. First, coating them in a bit of olive oil, salt, pepper, dried parsley, and cayenne. Then laid them in a single layer on a sheet pan and baked at 400 for maybe 15-20 minutes. 

I had this sun dried tomato pesto that I prepared the day before. It's totally delish, and I thought it would taste great on my little portobello sliders. In this pesto, we have sun dried tomatoes, basil, garlic, parmesan, pine nuts, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and olive oil. Yum...

I toasted the slider buns on the grill, and grabbed a handful of arugula, sliced some gruyere cheese, and popped a chilled bottle of vino, and our picnic was on the table...

I can't wait to make these again! Aren't they cute?!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Plum and The Goat

Arugula Salad With Baked Goat Cheese, Plum, and Blueberries
Today wasn't a bad day. It started out pretty good, then it had some incredibly frustrating moments, then it got good again, and it ended on a fine note, really. And funny how all I can think about is the really frustrating part of my day. It's just that I can't help but to wonder why in the world did that part of the day go the way that it did. I have this feeling that there was some sort of rhyme and reason behind it all. Or, maybe I just like to think that there is some secret hidden reasoning behind things that just don't seem to make any sense. Ah well. It was only an hour out of the day, so let's get over it already!

And let's think about this dish that I made for dinner. Now, I had this similar dish at a popular little place in Berkeley, called Jupiter. We ordered the arugula and plum salad as an appetizer, and their fancy mushroom pizza to share as an entree. The pizza was a hot mess. And not in a good way. It was over baked and had hardly any mushrooms. booo! But the salad was delish! And the live band, atmosphere, and my date surely made up for the poor pizza.

So tonight, after a pretty long day of driving, interviewing for a new position, more and more driving in terrible and even worse traffic, with cops out at every turn and street sweepers down every other street, taking a few too many wrong turns, and tunnel traffic, and..... ok, then a few hours of working in a catering kitchen, getting home, cleaning my own kitchen, and walking my dog, it was finally time for me! To sit down and enjoy a simple meal and a nice chill glass of vino. Finally.

I had a perfect ripe plum and some blueberries that needed to be used up, and a little log of herbed goat cheese. I decided to re-make the lovely little arugula plum salad from our evening out at Jupiter.

I coated a small ball of goat cheese in oiled panko bread crumbs, and sliced up a fresh baguette, and baked both till the bread were crusty little soldiers, and the goat cheese was just melty.
Tossed the arugula and blueberries in a simple olive oil and white balsamic dressing...
And my day is complete with these purty little crostini's...