Well, only two more weeks left of school. That definitely means more time for updating my blog regularly! Lately all I have had time to do is go to work, and then come home and bake, go to bed, repeat.
In the past few weeks I have put together some pics of some savory recipes. One Joe and my favorite summer eats is homemade Gazpacho! It is best made the day before so the flavors have plenty of time to meld. I start with a huge bowl of chopped veggies, add in a little olive oil, water, lemon juice, and spices. The recipe is at the end of the post, but here are some pics!
Bowl of veg:
All in the blender:
Ready to go – garnished with cilantro, avocado, red onion, and homemade croutons
I also promised a microwave steamed artichoke tutorial for Allison at GreenDogWine
Joe is the master behind this tutorial. He prepared the chokes and took all of the pictures. I just ate mine 🙂
1. Start by taking the artichoke and snipping off the ends of the petals with a pair of scissors and cutting off the bottom stem and top with a knife.
The should look like this when done with step 1:
2. Place artichokes stem side down in a microwave safe dish (pyrex works well) that had a lid. Fill the dish about 1 inch high with water and place the cover on top. Microwave on high for 8 minutes.
3. Remove the dish from the microwave (be careful – its hot!). Carefully flip the artichokes (tongs work well) so that the TOP is now down. Re-cover and return to the microwave. Microwave on high for 4 more minutes.
4. After the second microwaving, leave in the covered dish to rest for another 3-4 minutes (while you finish up the rest of dinner). At this point they are ready to eat! Just peal off the petals and scrape the base with your teeth. Joe and I like to dip ours in a sauce made of equal parts plain, nonfat yogurt and a spicy salsa.
On this night we had our artichokes with blackened tilapia and some steamed green beans tossed with a little olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, and parmesan.
When you get to the base, AVOID THE FUZZ!!! Here are some pics of what it will look like and what you should remove. Definitely eat the heart that lies under the fuzz – its the BEST part 🙂
The base – the fuzz is underneath the soft petals
Removing the fuzz:
The yummy heart underneath!
Didn’t Joe do an awesome job with these pictures??? He isn’t a big blogger, but he is a wonderful, helpful husband 🙂
Some other excitement of the past few weeks – FARMERS MARKET OPENED!!! I also added a page at the top of my home screen to list all of my offerings for each week at the market. Here are some pics of my stand and shockingly I am actually in one of the pictures!
Week 1 – I didn’t have all of my display as decorative as I had in mind. But this week the goal was just to get packaged food to the market. Here is my stand:
Week 2 – my AWESOME mom made me a table cloth and an apron to wear! I got some better sample dishes, and made a new item that was a huge hit! I started off with my hair looking all cute, but quickly realized how hot and humid it was – so ponytail it was!
Both weeks I offered chocolate chip cookies (which I forgot to bring week 2, but my dad was great and brought them out to me), gluten-free chocolate chip cookies, orange cookies, take a hike cookies, chocolate chip espresso brownies, peanut butter and jelly bars in 2 flavors, and 7 layer remix bars. The brownies were a major hit the first week, so the second week I added a butterscotch toffee blondie – it was the first thing to sell out of! I’ll be adding some pictures of each of these items in my “Carly’s Confections” page in the next week or so.
Finally, I did a cake for the son of one of the teachers I work with. Clearly it was bought by grandma for the kids to give their dad (Hence the “Happy Birthday Daddy”) She told me that her son likes green. So, I kept it simple and non-feminine. I thought it came out pretty good! I used a yellow cake and a vanilla bean buttercream frosting.
Decorating the cake still makes me nervous. I have gotten SO MUCH better at getting the crumb layer and basic frosting layer done quickly, but the decorating takes me time since I am by no means an artistic person. This is definitely something I want to work on more in the future. My saving grace is that my cakes TASTE fabulous 🙂
Thanks for stopping by!
Any other food or baking tutorials you want to see? Let me know! Joe or I can definitely put one together again.
1/2 cup water
2 medium cucumbers, peeled and diced (reserve half of one of them)
2 pounds of tomatoes, chopped
1/2 medium red bell pepper, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 of a red onion, diced – use about another quarter diced to garnish later
Juice of 1 lemon
1 Tbsp olive oil
Spices to taste – red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, celery salt, dill
Garnishes – cilantro, croutons, red onion, avocado (a must)
1. Mix vegetables together in a large bowl. Using a blended on high, blend vegetables in about 2 batches using half of the lemon, half of the water, and half of the olive oil per batch.
2. Transfer blended soup into a container to store overnight – stir in the reserved cucumbers. Taste the soup and add any of the spices to suit your taste. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
3. Serve chilled and topped with any garnishes of your choice. This is SUCH and easy and tasty soup 🙂