Roasted Corn Salad

So Memorial Day weekend is over... I spent the weekend at home with my husband trying to relax and not doing much. Although, on Saturday we took Mini and Mona to the vet and it was a bit crazy, but I will tell you about it on a later post. For now I want to tell you about this amazing roasted corn salad I made yesterday. I was not planning on grilling anything this weekend, but what is Memorial Day without outdoor cooking? Of course, the most important thing is to remember the men and women who had died serving our country. But, on a lighter note,  it also marks the start of summer and  outdoor parties. 

Roasted Corn Salad
Serves 4

2 cups grilled corn (from about 2 ears)
1 cup cherry tomatoes cut in half
2 spring onions (scallions) finely chopped
1 medium avocado diced
2 tablespoons cilantro finely chopped
1 Serrano or jalapeno pepper finely chopped (optional)*
2 tablespoons lemon juice (from about 1 lemon)

In a medium bowl mix together corn, tomatoes, onions, avocado, cilantro and pepper (if using). Stir in lemon juice. Season with salt to taste.

*Remove seeds from pepper for a milder flavor.




Garden Update

After having such nice weather the past few weeks, yesterday the weather changed dramatically; the temperatures dropped and the sky turned gray. There was even was a thunder storm and rain last evening. It was a little nuts! Today we got a little more sun, but still was quite chilly. My husband and I went out to the garden all bundled up to pick some vegetables. Right now what is ready to be picked are peas, carrots and spring onions.
The snap peas are very sweet and tender and the shelling peas are amazing. Mini and Mona agree, I cooked some for them and they really liked them.
The carrots are very crunchy and full of flavor. I haven't decided if I'm going to put them on a salad or roast them with other vegetables...
I was surprised at how large the onions grew. Last year they didn't grow as big as this. Maybe we are finally getting the hang of things with this gardening stuff.

Speaking of getting the hang of things about gardening we still have to see how the red cabbage and broccoli grows. I'm afraid we are not having as much luck, but we still have to wait and see.



Quilted Pot Holder

Saturday morning I got up with a terrible cold. I was feeling miserable. I hate being sick! After resting for a while and taking some cold medicine by the afternoon I was feeling much better. So I decided to do a little sewing. I've been crazy about these dollhouse pot holders ever since Aneela Hoey talked about them on her blog and I just couldn't wait anymore to try to make one. The tutorial is from Freda's Hive and you can find it here.

It was so much fun picking out the fabrics for each piece of the block.

Here is a pic of the finished block.  The tutorial mentions using Insul-Fleece, but I didn't have any so I used two layers of cotton batting instead. I think this is going to be first of many pot holders I make. They are just too cute!



Carrot-Zucchini Muffins

Wednesday was farmer's market day in town. The market runs from May through September and it is a great place to buy local organic foods and  produce. Every time I go I want to buy everything; this time I bought asparagus, kale, red onions, fresh garlic, broccoli, cucumbers, lettuce, carrots and zucchini. I steamed some carrots and broccoli for Mini and Mona and they loved it! I also made carrot-zucchini muffins. This is a great recipe, very versatile; I had made the muffins using only carrots or only zucchini with very good results, but my favorite is using half and half. They are not very sweet, so they are excellent for breakfast or to eat any time of the day.

Carrot-Zucchini Muffins
Slightly adapted from Whole Living Magazine, April 2011
Makes 12
*You can substitute the buttermilk for yogurt or milk with a few drops of lemon juice.

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons wheat germ
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup buttermilk*
2 eggs
3/4 brown sugar
1 cup finely grated carrots
1 cup finely grated zucchini

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a standard muffin tin with paper liners.
2. Remove excess water from the zucchini by placing it on a colander or between two paper towels and squeeze it.
3. In a medium bowl whisk together dry ingredients (flours, wheat germ, cinnamon, baking powders, baking soda and salt), and set aside. In a large bowl whisk together wet ingredients and sugar (oil, butter milk, eggs, sugar, carrots and zucchini). Incorporate flour mixture into wet using a spatula mix until just combined without overmixing.
4. Pour batter into baking cups and bake for about 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

5. Remove from the oven and let muffins cool for a few minutes in the pan. Transfer to a wire rack finish cooling.




Pretty in Pink

I snapped this picture the other day outside my local post office. I had gone to mail some things and before I went into the building I noticed this beautiful tree laden with pink pompom like blossoms; luckily I had my camera with me so I took a picture to share with you. I don't know what kind of tree this is, but it sure is beautiful.

Life is beautiful!



Pasta With Charred Grape Tomatoes

Sunday was a great day! I love the feeling at the end of the day when one feels that things got done. Sunday was one of those days. My husband and I got up early in the morning (well not too early, early for a Sunday) and drove to the home improvement store. We bought some sacks of compost and organic fertilizer for the vegetables. after we got home we worked in the garden for a while. It might not be some people's idea of fun, but we had a lot of fun.
Later in the day I made pasta with grape tomatoes. Our tomato plants are still you, so the tomatoes were from the market. But still they were pretty good. the recipe I got the inspiration from calls for slow roasted plum tomatoes. However, I only had grape tomatoes on hand and roasting the tomatoes takes some time (about 45 minutes), so to speed things up I opted to broil the tomatoes. It only took 5-8 minutes and they tasted great. Plus I got to use some of my fresh oregano.

Pasta With Charred Grape Tomatoes
Serves 2

2 cups grape tomatoes
1/2 lb short pasta such a shells or elbow
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Basil and oregano leaves for garnish
Parmesan shavings for garnish


1. Place grape tomatoes on a baking sheet and broil on high for about 5-8 minutes or until the skins begin to look charred.
2. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook pasta according to package directions. Drain the pasta and reserve 1 cup of pasta water. Meanwhile in skillet heat oil over medium high heat. Suttee garlic for 1-2 minutes until fragrant, then add the pepper flakes and continue to stir for another minute. Add broiled tomatoes and 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Season with salt and pepper and breakup the tomatoes with a spoon and cook for about 5 minutes to thicken the sauce.

3. Toss the pasta together with the sauce and add more pasta water if necessary. Serve immediately topped with basil, oregano and Parmesan shavings.