Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Tonight's Dinner

Steak with golden zucchini

6 teaspoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds strip steak
kosher salt and pepper
1 1/2 pounds small zucchini, halved lengthwise
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
3 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (parsley, basil)
2 tablespoons bread crumbs

Heat 3 teaspoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the steak with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Cook to desired doneness, 4-5 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 20 minutes before slicing. Meanwhile, return the pan to medium heat and heat 2 teaspoons of the oil. Season the zucchini with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, cut-side down, covered, until browned and tender, about 6 minutes. Cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces and divide among individual plates. In a small bowl, combine the lemon zest,garlic, herbs, bread crumbs, and the remaining oil. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over the zucchini and serve with the sliced steak.

Rating: 8 The lemon zest was forgotten. Probably would have warranted a 9 maybe 8.5. But this was quick, easy and delicious.

If you are wondering what's going on with the food posting. It is developing into a weekly post. Andrew, Mark and I are looking for nutritious, delicious meals we can prepare after a long day of work instead of "fast" food. Some are good, some are not. We will only post those 8 or above.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


This year I am growing a pot of basil outside the kitchen. Not really a kitchen garden because it's off the the piano room, but close enough. I step outside to snip the fresh bloom to add to the evening's meal. So here are some favorites:

1 cup sugar
1 cup fresh basil leaves
8 cups lemonade
(use the amount for the proportionate balance)

In a small saucepan, over medium heat, bring the sugar and 1 1/2 cups cold water to a simmer. Cook, without stirring, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture thickens slightly, bout 5 minutes. Remove from heat, add the basil, and let cool to room temperature. Strain the syrup into a resealable container and discard the solids. Pour 2 to 3 teaspoons of the basil syrup into each of 8 ice-filled glassed, then fill with lemonade. Garnish with an additional spring of basil. RATING: 10+ This is a really yummy way to enjoy simple syrup kicked up a couple of notches. It tastes good with iced tea, too. Although I did not like it flavored tea.


2 teaspoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/3 cup pine nuts
10 ounces fresh spinach leaves
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups fresh basil leaves

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium low heat. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add the pine nuts and cook until lightly golden, about 3 minutes. Increase heat to medium and add the spinach, salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons of water (I used apple cider vinegar for a bit of a punch). Cover and cook, tossing occasionally with tongs, until the spinach wilts, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat. Add the basil and toss until it wilts, about 1 minute. Serve immediately. RATING: 7 but only if you use fresh spinach. Frozen (okay I didn't check to see if the fresh was any good and thought I could substitute) was too dry and too chopped. Flavors were GREAT, though. Garlic and pine nuts added the soft crunch, basil the aromatic fragrance.

And for the entree:


1 pork tenderloin (about 1 pound)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 large eggs
1 cup dry bread crumbs
1 teaspoon kosher salt (I used sea)
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated Parmesan
4 tablespoons olive oil

Heat oven to 400F (we used the grill so the house would not be so hot). Thinly slice the tenderloin on a diagonal into 8 pieces. Pound the slices to a 1/4-inch thickness. Place the flour on a plate. Place the eggs in a shallow bowl and beat lightly. In a separate bowl, combine the bread crumbs, salt and Parmesan. Working in patches, lightly coat the cutlets first in the flour, then in the egg mixture (allowing any excess to drip off), and finally in the bread crumb mixture. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 4 of the cutlets. Cook until golden, 1-2 minutes per side. Place the cutlets on a baking sheet. Wipe out the skillet and repeat with the remaining olive oil and cutlets. Transfer to oven and heat until the pork is cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. RATING: 7-8. Andrew thought an 8; I only gave it a 7.The crust is crispy, the meat tender. You will think it is going to be dry and over cooked but it's lightly parm and yummy.

That's the ingredient of the week. All three were quick, easy, 4 on the skill level and left overs will make a delicious pork cutlet sandwich for tomorrow's lunch.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Well, Andrew is home.

You may have noticed he helped me update my blog. Stay tuned for the next update (probably tomorrow--although he said I had to leave it for 6 days for all the poll numbers to come in).


I love flowers. My grandmother taught me about flowers. She grew roses back in the day. Blowing off the aphids on the individual plants.

The flower I remember though, is the moon flower vine.

The large white blossom unfolds in the evening. The dark green heart shaped leaves surround the fragrant flowers. When evening would come, Mamaw (a good Southern name for Grandma) would quietly bring me around the side of the garage to witness this evening ritual of the new life of the intoxicating, luminous flowers. It always seemed she whispered as we gently walked up on the flowers so as not to disturb the tranquility. The next morning when we were hanging the laundry on the line (google it--not everyone, always had dryers) the mass of vining would remain leaving the promise of tonight's fragrance of memories.

Did I say I love flowers? I do. Pincushion,

gladiolus, daisies, lily of the valley,

you name it. I don't' grow my own too much any more so I really appreciate a good bouquet. Some people say it's a frivolous expense, but cut flowers in any room make for a brighter, sweeter environment. Beauty is truth.
(Money is available to anyone who knows the source--without Google).

This last week a good, dear, sweet friend gave me some flowers as a thank you for some help I gave her.
Initially I said something like, "Would you do this for a sister?" Hmmm. Like a thank you needs an explanation. Or somehow close, loving relationships preclude the kindness of "thank you" expressed.

Anyway, the flowers adorned my desk and now my beside table. Because, just because.