When a craving for steak hits the same time as exhaustion, this is what’s for dinner. It’s been awhile since I had beef in the weeknight rotation, so I’m not surprised my second-trimester body was asking for it. We decided to do pan-seared steak tips one evening and use the leftover steak the next night for these quesadillas.
This summer is anything but lazy, there has been no summertime slow down. At least as far as my energy levels are concerned. I’m feeling the lack of a long weekend over the July 4th holiday, and I’ll have to hold on a few more weeks until our vacation in August.
Until then, there’s the option of slowing things down and really relishing what’s going on with food and at meals. So, here’s this shrimp salad sandwich, cool and pleasant on hot summer days.
Title: Over Easy: Sweet & Savory Recipes for Leisurely Days
Author: Joy Wilson (aka Joy the Baker)
Publisher: Clarkson Potter
Blueberry Sour Cream Waffles
Earl Grey & Ricotta Waffles
Banana bread granola
Spinach & artichoke strata
Onion, Gruyere, and Grits Frittata muffins
Verdict: Interesting, creative, and for the most part delicious, though specialized (breakfast and brunch) and not a staple
Way before Charlotte was born, David and I were in the habit of having long, leisurely breakfasts on weekends with pancakes or French toast, scrambled eggs, bacon, and pots of coffee we’d sip on into the early afternoon. When I was pregnant, we talked about how fun it would be to have a little one join us for our weekend mornings. We had the baby (I remember it was a Thursday in January) and were back home for our first Saturday breakfast. Tired but not exhausted, we put together our everyday French toast breakfast and told ourselves “see, we can still do this!”
Obviously, that devolved into a weeks-long stretch of interrupted sleep, way too early wake ups, and tears on everyone’s part (mostly mine and Charlotte’s). Now, its hard to believe, but we’ve put a solid two years’ distance between us and Charlotte’s colicky episodes, and I’m happy to say, a return to more leisurely weekend mornings has returned.
I’m very much looking forward to this weekend, celebrating Mother’s Day with my own mom and Charlotte all together.
One of the best restaurants in Harvard Square, Alden & Harlow, has what they call the “ubiquitous kale salad” on their menu. The name is tongue-in-cheek, but the salad itself is phenomenal. The greens themselves are all kale (something that can be hard to pull off), and there’s nothing else garnishing the leaves except a deeply flavored, well-balanced lemony pistachio dressing. I’m lucky enough to live close by, but unfortunately, the restaurant isn’t open for lunch (when I’m in the square, solo, looking for a quick bite and glass of wine).
1 pint strawberries
1 cup flour
1 cup oats
1/4 cup ground flaxseed (optional – if not using, increase the flour by 1/4 cup)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup butter, melted
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash and prepare the strawberries: Cut off the green tops and slice the berries into quarters. Put the strawberry slices in a small saucepan over low heat. Add 1-2 Tablespoons water and simmer about 10 minutes, until the strawberries break down and lose their shape. Be careful not to scorch or burn the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
2. While the strawberries are cooking, combine the dry ingredients (flour through cinnamon) in a bowl. Add the melted butter and work evenly into the dry ingredients, forming a dough.
3. Divide the dough, reserving about 1/4 of it. Press the larger portion (about 3/4) into a rimmed baking dish lined with parchment paper. Spread the strawberries in an even layer over the dough. Using your fingers, break apart the remaining dough portion and sprinkle it over the strawberries (as you would with a crumble topping). Bake for 30 minutes.
This answer to the question “what’s for dinner tonight” stems from my recent efforts to cook more with dried (versus canned) beans. I had dried black beans on hand, and not quite sure what to make with them, I turned to the idea of vegetarian chili. To be a successful vegetarian main dish, it has to be full of flavor. There’s no ground beef (or rendered fat) to give an otherwise lackluster ingredient list a leg up. Every ingredient has to contribute its own brilliant texture and taste, and they all have to come together as a unified dish. …
As I’ve mentioned earlier, my sweet tooth has been taking over this summer. This cobbler took a couple of tries to get right, but the final version here showcases some of the best of summer’s fruit, and David and I have been noshing on it after dinner for several nights now.
First, using a 50-50 combination of whole wheat and all-purpose flour just didn’t work here. With the first cobbler I made, the fruit turned out splendidly, but both David and I felt that we were eating an overly savory biscuit mismatched with a not-quite-sweet-enough dessert. To fix this, I adjusted a few of the ingredients: I took out the whole wheat flour all together and went with all-purpose flour with just a smidgen of cornmeal (which helps with the sweetness). …
A few weeks ago, my friends and I met for dinner at one of Cambridge’s great new restaurants, Alden & Harlow. Their menu is based on small plates shared among the table. It was fabulous: we ordered corn fritters, chicken-fried rabbit, sweet corn gnocchi, and a kind of corn flapjack topped with fresh popcorn and sweet syrup. Given that we’re smack in the middle of August, it’s no surprise that the menu is full of fresh corn.
Tomatoes are the other late-summer signature ingredient, and this lasagna combines the best of quintessential summer flavors. It’s actually been rather chilly in Boston lately (barely above 70 degrees for a few days’ stretch), so I’ve been firing up my oven without needing to crank the air conditioning. …